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Christianity and Roman Writers

Christianity and Roman Writers

(p.206) Chapter 10 Christianity and Roman Writers
Encounters & Reflections
University of Chicago Press

This chapter is a conversation among three students—Michael, Ronna, and Robert—and their professor Seth Benardete at the University of Chicago about Christianity and Roman writers. One striking aspect of Christian writers is how seriously they take ancient poetry. They understand it absolutely literally and attack it on the grounds that it is totally absurd. According to Daube, the Rabbis interpreted Genesis 1 in Aristophanic terms: man as androgynous. It is in fact a case in which a poet's image is taken up in the interpretation of the sacred text and is understood absolutely literally. Christianity is an unrolling of the history of Israel, or in other words, trying to go behind Genesis 2 and everything that follows and to get back to Genesis 1. In the chapter, Benardete also provides an interpretation of “Paul and the history of the world.”

Keywords:   Seth Benardete, Christianity, Israel, Genesis 2, Genesis 1

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