Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Thou Shalt Transgress: An Archetypal Exploration of Eve
by Stier-Van Essen, Vanya, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 229; 10822130
Abstract (Summary)

The image of Eve leaning toward the serpent and reaching for the forbidden fruit lives at the heart of the predominant creation myth of the Western world and still reverberates in its psyche. At the same time, a singular and literal interpretation of Eve has dominated cultural discourse and psychological life: Eve is understood as the one who brought death and depravity to humanity and is cast as Everywoman. The Eden story has been implicated in the patriarchal narrative regarding the inferiority of women—if every woman is Eve, then Woman holds the fall of humanity from divine grace in her guilty hands—as well as in narratives contributing to racism and environmental degradation. This hermeneutic inquiry asserts this interpretation and these implications are highly questionable and deeply problematic, then reconsiders Eve and her transgression in cultural-historical, mythological, and archetypal contexts—seeking to deliteralize and recover the complexity of this figure. Close attention to these contexts reveals Eve to be a mythic figure deeply linked to Goddess traditions during a great mythological shift as Goddess mythologies were being supplanted by Sky Father mythologies, and an exemplar of a larger mythic motif of feminine transgression. The resulting depth psychological reading of Eve’s transgression shows Eve as a particular style of consciousness, demonstrating specific archetypal dynamics, characteristics, and ways of knowing.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slater, Glen
Commitee: Griffith, Honor, Moore, Thomas
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Womens studies
Keywords: Asherah, Eden, Eve, Feminine, Goddess, Transgression
Publication Number: 10822130
ISBN: 978-0-355-94551-5
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