Meeting Adam

By Zaleski, Carol | The Christian Century, June 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

Meeting Adam


Zaleski, Carol, The Christian Century


IT MUST BE BECAUSE it's the last thing I see every night before I go to sleep--a photograph by the Very Rev. Andrew Tregubov of the Anastasis (or "Descent into Hades") icon fresco by 20th-century Russian iconographer Gregory Kroug. It must be the sight of Adam's face looking up at Christ's, and Christ's face looking down at Adam, that gave me the dream I had a few weeks ago.

I dreamed of meeting Adam in heaven. He wasn't hard to recognize. In fact, he looked like my great-uncle Harold--"Bubby," as great-aunt Sally called him--with the weight of his long years melted off. This was indeed a surprise. "Uncle Harold? Is it really you?" I said. He seemed to say yes, but no further revelation was given, and soon I was dreaming about a shortage of guest towels in the linen closet.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Of course, if this had been a real glimpse of Adam, I might have expected to see other relatives, too, including some I never met in life, not to mention the entire race of redeemed men and women. That, at least, is what the mystical traditions about Adam would have us think: he is Adam Kadmon, Adam Protoplast, the representative of all humanity, first creature to bear the divine image and likeness, namer of the animals, revered by the unfallen angels, a glorious being whose rebellion was a universal catastrophe and whose redemption is the universal hope. To meet Adam face to face would be a low-grade beatific vision: one would see straight through to the essence of humanity; one would see all the generations in him and discover one's own true self.

There's plenty of esoteric speculation along these lines in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, and in various writings of Jewish and Christian Platonists, Kabbalists, Sufis, Ismaili philosophers, Mormons, Druze--some of it outlandishly mythological, some of it (where Eve comes in) misogynist. It's not difficult to see why these legends didn't make it into the canon. Nonetheless, there is something enchanting about reading in the rabbinic accounts that Adam was as vast as our planet, or in the Syriac Cave of Treasures that his body sparkled like crystal, or in Philo that there were two Adams, one heavenly and one earthly, or in the Life of Adam and Eve that Eve and Seth made a last-ditch effort, after the fall, to cure Adam's mortal illness with oil from the Tree of Life.

Perhaps I've spent too long looking at the Anastasis icon to be satisfied with abstract theological anthropology. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Meeting Adam
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.