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»The Oblates of Eden: Babylonian Temples and the Untold Backstory of Adam and Eve«

Donnerstag, 30. November 2023, 18:00 bis 20:00

Bruce Wells (University of Texas) / »The Oblates of Eden: Babylonian Temples and the Untold Backstory of Adam and Eve«

Can anything new be said about the story of the Garden of Eden? Surprisingly, scholarship has overlooked the abundant evidence for how divine gardens were managed in the ancient Middle East. The best evidence for such management comes from the Babylonian temple archives of the mid-first millennium BCE. These records show that a particular type of temple servant—an ›oblate‹ (širku in Akkadian)—did most of the manual labor in the gardens or orchards that belonged to a temple but were said to be owned by a god. This lecture will show that the biblical story depicts Adam and Eve as oblates working in an orchard that belongs to the deity, Yahweh. Much of the story follows the basic protocols that governed the administration of temple-owned orchards in Babylonia. This perspective helps to answer key questions about the story. What does it mean for Adam to ›tend and keep‹ the orchard? Did Yahweh lie to Adam when he said death would be the consequence for eating from the Tree of Knowledge? Why does it appear that Adam and Eve do not die? And why are they sent out to ›work the ground‹? Fundamentally, these temple archives provide an opportunity to reconstruct important aspects of the knowledge that the Eden narrative takes for granted.

Vortrag in englischer Sprache

Mehr zum Redner und zur Anmeldung (bis zum 27. November)


Donnerstag, 30. November 2023
18:00 bis 20:00


Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
Am Wingertsberg 4
Bad Homburg, Hessen 61348 Deutschland


Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
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