Questions from lecture
1) In Genesis Chapter 2 Adam and Eve are told by God not to eat the fruit of what TREE in the
middle of the GARDEN OF EDEN and what is the symbolic significance of the CHOICE that they
The god took Adam and placed him in the garden of Eden . God told him that he may eat the fruit of
every tree except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told him that if he ate it he
would die. As Adam was lonely god made Woman(eve) from one of Adam’s ribs. The Serpent was more
crafty than any other wild animal. He asked eve if they were not allowed to eat fruit from any tree. Eve
said only the tree in the middle of the garden because they would die. The serpent said that god lied to
them and they would not die. He said god knew that when they did eat fruit from the tree, they would be
like god knowing of good and evil.So eve took an apple and ate it and then gave some to adam. Adam and
eve both became human and their eyes were opened and they both knew they were naked. They then hid
from god. God asked them how they knew they were naked. God told adam and eve he knew he ate from
the tree. Adam told god that eve gave it to him . Eve said that the serpent beguiled her. Adam and eve are
banished from the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the tree is symbolic of the
freedom of the will to choose- evil by choice. The serpent was evil representative of SATAN. Humans
have the choice between good and evil and it is their choice to choose between the two.
2 What is the SYMBOLISM of the serpent in GENESIS Chapter 3, and how is that symbolism
understood in Christianity and Islam and how does the symbolism in Christianity and Islam solve
the problem of the ORIGIN OF EVIL.
The serpent is symbolic of SATAN.
3. What are the Principal characteristics of Ishvara the God, in the LAWS OF MANU, “who
creates the COSMOS from his own body” and what analogies help the reader understand the
HINDU CREATION THEORY.
In the Hindu tradition, Ishvara represents the spiritual principle (he is god par excellence), the male
principle (masculine singular) also known by Shiva or Vishnu, the first cause (no one created Ishvara, or
he would not be god), and the efficient cause (he desired to create and did so). Importantly, he is also the
material cause, in that he created the cosmos from his own body. The analogy that can be used to describe
Ishvara creating the cosmos from his own body is that of a spider spinning a web. The spider spins a web
outside of his body; Ishvara spins the cosmos from within his own body. Just as the web initially exists in
a pre-existent state within the spider, the cosmos exists in a pre-existent state within Ishvara. Therefore,
just as the spider is the material cause of the web, Ishvara is the material cause of the cosmos. This differs
from the Jewish and Christian cosmogony where God is not the material cause of the world, but he
creates by his word.
4 The SANSKRIT word “AP” enables the HISTORIAN OF RELIGION to understand the