Beyond A Cisgender Genesis: Reading the Creation Narratives Through a Transgender Feminist Lens Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Edwards, Averyl
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • In this study I examine the scholarship of the last few decades which has revisited the Genesis creation narratives for their potential to yield an exegesis that does not relegate women, queer people, or transgender people to a secondary status in the text. I go systematically through the first three chapters of Genesis, synthesizing various hermeneutical approaches by Hebrew Bible scholars, activists, archaeologists, journalists, and theologians to evaluate the validity of their claims of equality and inclusion in light of their preservation of the sex and gender binaries, which cannot easily, if at all, be separated from heterosexist cissexist patriarchy. To address the sex and gender binary created in the first narrative, I focus on readings of Genesis 1:27 as the creation of a sexually dimorphic species that includes a wide range of sexuated manifestations. The male primogeniture and potential for gender roles of Genesis 2 are addressed by emphasizing the creation of gender primarily for the purpose of distinguishing self from other. In Genesis 3, the curses can be read as the unfortunate hierarchical consequence of the introduction of power and the ability to exploit that comes from knowledge of good and evil, a product of human failing rather than a divine preference for gender inequality. I conclude that a trans- woman- and queer-inclusive exegesis is possible through combining elements of various scholars’ interpretations.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Cooper, Andrea
  • Bachelor of Arts
Academic concentration
  • Religious Studies
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
  • English

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