Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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The Structure of Genesis I 143 With S9, Man is organized and given dominion over both cereal and fruit, birds, and fish, cattle and creepers. This solves some contradictions, while at the same time creating a new binarism, for over half of the elements man is not given dominion: Si 55 S2 S6 S3 S7 s4 S8 Taking a look at columns A and B it seems that the first of these includes ecological habitats, while the second refers to biological entities. The author of Genesis has an apparent indifference towards both astronomy and astrology. His concern is with oikos, "home," this planet. The sun and the moon are important only in so far as they are a part of the earthly ecology. Of Genesis 1 we might repeat the statement Michael Jackson made about a Maori creation story: Creation, or genesis, if these words are to be used, should be considered as referring to the emergence and origin of a new order, a new resolution, from the deliberately created disorder at the commencement of the myth.3 Also we might borrow his description from the same source of the creation tale as "a dialectic working out of certain oppositions in the ecological sphere."4 If the present structural analysis is correct, we might derive some hypotheses from it: 1) The phrase "the stars also," which sounds like an afterthought, was probably a later editorial insertion, out of continuity with the rest of the text. 2) Genesis 1 was probably meant originally to be a record of the deliberations of the Council of the Gods "when the Gods set about to create the heaven and the earth."5 From this follows that 3) Far from Genesis 1 and the Garden of Eden story being redundant, they are at least two degrees removed from each other, the first being an account of the planning stage before the creation, with the heavenly beings programming binary oppositions ("Let us make man / in our image / after our likeness"); while the second is an account of events after the creation in the limited setting of the Garden of Eden. The subsequent text has Cain sent out "east of Eden" into a world that was already thickly populated (Genesis 4:14, 15, 17). Between the two narratives (Genesis 1, and 4) which are the concern of the Biblical writer and which are closely linked structurally, falls the entire story of the actual formation of the earth, the appearance of life forms, and the development of the human race. Such questions we are left to puzzle out for ourselves. 1"The Structural Study of Myth," Journal of American Folklore, 78 (1955), 428-444; see also Benjamin Urrutia, "Structural Analyses of the Tiv Version of the Hamlet Myth," American Anthropologist, 74, no. 5 (1972). 2Cenesis (Volume I of the Anchor Bible), (New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1964), trans. E. A. Speiser. 3"Some Structural Considerations of Maori Myth," Journal of the Polynesian Society, yy (1968), 154. Hbid., p. 155. 5This translation can be made without deviating from Speiser's vowel-point arrangement.