Magazine article World Literature Today

Editor's Pick

Magazine article World Literature Today

Editor's Pick

Article excerpt

EDITOR'S PICK

Guus Kuijer The Bible for Unbelievers: The Beginning: Genesis Trans. Laura Watkinson Seven Stories Press, 2016

The Bible has occupied a central position in Western culture since Constantine's conversion to the Christian faith. Once universally recognized as the infallible word of God, the texts that make it up have been incrementally opened up to other modes of reading. Guus Kuijer, better known in his home country of the Netherlands as a prolific author of children's books, presents a compelling vision of the Bible as a storytelling vehicle to explore the nature of doubt in his book The Bible for Unbelievers: The Beginning: Genesis.

The title is somewhat misleading as Kuijer's reframing is more about uncertainty than disbelief. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening chapter, leading offwith a creation myth wherein the first thing created is God in the form of a word. Kuijer leaves open multiple explanations for God's creation ex nihilo, including the possibility that it is all Adam's means to explain what he cannot know. Still, Adam's conversations with God (as well as God's conversations with God) lay the conceptual framework for all that follows: the myriad "sins" that emerge from possessing a consciousness forever isolated from the universe from which it emanated, including shame, jealousy, hatred, miscommunication, greed, and cruelty. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.