Was Adam Androgynous? Some Medieval Views

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Tuesday 17 June 2014, 5.30PM

Speaker(s): Alessandro Scafi (Warburg Institute, London)

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. Faced with these puzzling lines in the Book of Genesis (1.27), medieval theologians and exegetes tried to envisage Adam’s condition in the Garden of Eden. Was Adam androgynous?

Was the distinction of genders part of the original perfection? What was taken to be the nature of sexuality in the original divine plan? This paper will examine how such questions were asked and solved in medieval visual and intellectual history.

Alessandro Scafi is Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Cultural history at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. He is the author of Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth and of Maps of Paradise (London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006 and 2013).

Location: King's Manor K/159