Onslaught against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist

Front Cover
Wipf and Stock Publishers, Aug 1, 2008 - Religion - 188 pages
0 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Date of Composition
Cain Is an Agriculturist and Abel Is a Shepherd
The Psychological Dimension
Genealogy and Culture

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Andr 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.

Bibliographic information