Beyond Belief: Eve

This edition of BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Belief looks at the presentation of Eve in both the Bible and its reception featuring Katie Edwards and Maureen Kendler. They are also joined by the apologist Amy Orr Ewing.

In the trailer for the final run of Desperate Housewives, viewers are seduced into watching the series with a variety of tantalising images. Four beautiful women in provocative poses, attracting the longing gazes of their easily led men. Snake like belts draped sinuously around their waists are provocatively removed or loosened. And there’s an apple, red and luscious, newly plucked from a tree. A 21st century television hit makes its appeal by drawing on an ancient biblical character which it assumes will resonate with the viewer.

Joining Ernie Rea to discuss the Biblical figure Eve, and what has been made of her down the centuries are Katie Edwards, lecturer in Biblical Studies at Sheffield University; Amy Orr Ewing, Director of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics; and Maureen Kendler, head of Educational Programming at the London School of Jewish Studies.

Katie Edwards offers the angle from the perspective of critical biblical scholarship, including the use of Eve in advertising. Maureen Kendler looks at close readings of the biblical texts and provides ancient contextualisation, including how Eve compares and contrasts with Lilith.

Ernie Rea: If Eve, the original Eve, were to come into this room now, what would you say to her?

Edwards: “Blimey”, because I don’t think she ever existed in the first place

Rea: I suppose, “Put some clothes on”

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