The biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a cornerstone of Western civilization, yet there are still many mysteries concerning its origins and meaning. In The Mythology of Eden, Arthur and Elena George utilize new historical and archaeological discoveries to reveal how the story's author uses veiled symbolism and mythological storytelling to convey his message about the most profound questions of human existence regarding the divine, life, death, and immortality. This innovative book offers an interdisciplinary interpretation of the Eden story that delves into incorrect assumptions and brings to light details that have previously gone unnoticed. The Mythology of Eden provides a new understanding of the story of Adam and Eve and illuminates the story's role and meaning in our modern world.
Arthur George — Arthur George is a prizewinning author, historian, and independent scholar with a background in mythology and the history and culture of the ancient Near East. He frequently lectures at scholarly conferences on these subjects.
Elena George — Elena George is a prizewinning author and screenwriter with a background in mythology, linguistics, religion, and spirituality.
Preface Introduction: Mythology and the Eden Story Chapter 1: Who Wrote the Eden Story? Chapter 2: How the World of Palestine Led to Eden Chapter 3: The Genesis of Yahweh and His Wife, and Their Divorce Chapter 4: The Creation, the Garden in Eden, and its Restoration Chapter 5: The Creation of Adam Chapter 6: The Sacred Trees, the Cherubim, and the Flaming Sword Chapter 7: The Serpent Whose Powers Yahweh Usurped Chapter 8: Eve: The Hidden Goddess in the Garden Chapter 9: The Transgression and Our Transformation Epilogue: Taking the Eden Story Personally: Its Meaning for Us Today Abbreviations Used in Citations Cited Works and Bibliography Index
A rich and well-illustrated work viewing the Eden story in its own natural genre as myth against the background of ancient Near Eastern mythology from which the mythological symbols in the story came. The book successfully clarifies many important aspects of the story that have eluded earlier interpreters, including the full meaning of the symbols used in the story, the goddess lurking in the background, and the cosmic nature of evil and sin.
— William G. Doty, emeritus professor and chair of religious studies, University of Alabama, author of Mythography: The Study of Myths and Myth: A Handbook
A work of impeccable scholarship and interdisciplinary expertise that unfolds like a gripping detective story, affording us one illuminating insight after another. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to gain a clearer understanding of the mythic and psychological dynamics that have shaped Western civilization.
— Keiron Le Grice, professor of depth psychology in the Jungian and Archetypal Studies Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, and author of The Archetypal Cosmos and The Rebirth of the Hero
A comprehensive, illuminating, and profound study of the primary myth of Western civilization that elucidates its far-reaching effects on our culture and the great questions of our time.
— Anne Baring, Jungian analyst; author of The Dream of the Cosmos: a Quest for the Soul, co-author of The Myth of the Goddess
The Mythology of Eden is important to the mythology sector in many ways. As a well-researched and illustrated treatise on the history of the Garden of Eden, it is well worth the read. But as a source and segue to more contemporary issue concerning the old vs. new myth argument now percolating, it may prove even more important.
— Willi Paul, writer and publisher at NewMythologist.com and PlanetShifter.com
It is one of the most familiar stories in the human canon: Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the forbidden fruit, and the serpent. We know the story, but how many of us have really thought about what it means? I've always admired the focus and rigor of scholars who take a subject and examine it exhaustively, first from one perspective, then another, turning it like a prism in sunlight. This is what Arthur George and his wife, Elena George, have done with The Mythology of Eden. Examining the Eden tale in minute detail — and with numerous footnotes — the Georges employ their combined and considerable knowledge of mythology, archaeology, history, psychology, and religion to parse new meanings from a story that is fundamental in the Christian world.
— — Santa Barbara Independent
What a fascinating book! Though it starts with and returns to an analysis of the second creation story in Genesis, The Mythology of Eden is about far more than that particular myth. It includes material on the backgrounds of the likely authors of the two Genesis creation stories and two other likely authors of the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures, the history of the Ancient Near East (ANE) before and during biblical times as well as information that has been gathered in recent years from archeology and anthropology. And yes, there is material on the role of polytheism, including Goddess worship, especially of Asherah and Astarte. The book places the development of religion, religious beliefs, and practices in the context of the sociopolitical development of the ANE, including Egypt, Canaan, Palestine, and other cultures. . . .I consider The Mythology of Eden to be overall a very valuable book and expect it to be especially useful to people researching or teaching the Bible, the history of the Ancient Near East, Goddess history, and to the intellectually curious and many others.