Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel and the Yahwist

Front Cover
James Clarke Company, Limited, 2010 - Religion - 177 pages
1 Review
Never before has the problem of evil been a more urgent subject for our reflection. The Yahwist confronts the issue through a sequence of stories on the progressive deterioration of the divine-human relationship in Genesis 2-11. In Genesis 4 he narrates the initial slaughter of one human being by another, and strikingly, it is described as fratricidal. 'Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist' provides a close reading of J's story by using literary criticism and psychological criticism. It shows that the biblical author has more than an "archaeological" design. His characters - including God, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, plus minor characters - are paradigmatic. They allow J to proceed with a fine analytical feel for the nature of evil as performed by homo as homini lupus. No imaginative "mimesis" of evil has ever been recounted with such an economy of means and such depth of psychological insight. ANDRE LACOCQUE is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of 'The Trial of Innocence'; 'The Feminine Unconventional'; 'Romance, She Wrote'; 'Esther Regina'; and a commentary on Ruth. He is also the coauthor (with Paul Ricoeur) of 'Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies'. "Among Scripture interpreters, Andre LaCocque is a singular force because of his generative and restless mind that always seeks a new angle on the text. Here he continues his close reading of the early Genesis materials. LaCocque is an urbane intellectual who knows the world of myth and the critical claims of psychology. He is, at the same time, a most able and cunning reader of texts. The outcome of his interpretation is a vigorous, fresh reading of Genesis 4 as a primal statement of failure and possibility in Western culture. This book is an offer of his rich, suggestive interpretation and an example of how to connect what is ancient and thick to contemporary life." - WALTER BRUEGGEMANN "The master of a truly extraordinary range of techniques of interpretation, Andre LaCocque is able to extract deep theological, psychological, and moral meanings out of a deceptively simple and often under-interpreted chapter of the Bible. This sophisticated yet accessible book will repay the attention of many types of readers - Jewish or Christian, religious or secular, with training in Biblical Studies or without."- JON D. LEVENSON, Author of Creation and the Persistence of Evil

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel and the Yahwist

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

I stepped away from this for a couple of months, but it was quite interesting. LaCocque peels back layers and layers of meaning from the sparse elegance of a few verses of Genesis. This makes me want to get a degree in Comparative Religions. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Andre LaCocque is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Trial of Innocence, The Feminine Unconventional, and Romance, She Wrote, and the co-author (with Paul Ricoeur) of Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies.

Bibliographic information