Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adam and Eve

Part of the whole Eurocentric trad thing is, occasionally, to disagree with images of a Black Jesus or some such thing. It's not all of them, but you come across some trad and even neocons who find images of an African Jesus offensive for some reason and really make a point of emphasizing that Black Madonnas are black because it's "just soot from candles" (which may be true, but some people jump to mention it in an apparent attempt to short-circuit any attempt to use the image as an icon of African heritage).

I think images of religious figures as any race are fine, but perhaps I can stretch to see an argument that Jesus was Jewish and thus should be portrayed that way. I totally disagree, but I could see that being the internally consistent conclusion of a certain type of logic about images needing to be "realistic" (though they don't need to be, nor is that even an ideal). Of course, that would preclude a blond Caucasian Christ too...

One set of figures, however, whom it would seem totally logical to portray as black, however, are Adam and Eve. The first human beings were Africans. Creationists might deny that of course, some might even still harbor the theory that blackness was the curse of Ham or some nonsense. Maybe it's even a good thing that bigots don't believe Adam and Eve are black, lest their responsibility for the Fall become another racist argument (as Eve's role was used in misogynist discourse for so long).

But in general I'd hope this would be pretty non-controversial among sane Catholics.
I have been able to find only a few portrayals of Adam and Eve as non-white, but maybe readers can recommend some more for me:







ZuluFan said...

Christian art should represent the culture from which that art originates. For instance, here's a Korean Madonna in the nativity scene:

For this reason, I typically do not find it offensive that European Renaissance artists drew the apostles as white men with Renaissance-era dresses. What we should work on is getting rid of degenerate modern art, which is completely foreign to any culture, from our churches.

A Sinner said...

"What we should work on is getting rid of degenerate modern art, which is completely foreign to any culture, from our churches."


But our culture is not white men in Renaissance Era dresses either anymore.

Should Jesus in a suit and tie? A t-shirt and jeans?

I don't really know how to answer that.

Jonathan said...

I only know of one movie where Adam and Chava (Hebrew people Hebrew) are depicted as being non European in origin.

That particular movie is called "In The Beginning" :

Not a bad movie, pretty good for a mini series type movie. While the rest of the cast follows the typical direction of most Hollywood Bible movies (Think Tzipporah from The Ten Commandments (Charlton Heston,etc.). Tzipporah is called a Kushite for a reason. Even if she wasn't black she indeed was of a darker skin tone than was Moses (Doesn't mean that there was much of a skin tone difference, but perhaps her skin tone was a bit darker. Some people in The Middle East are light some are dark (beautiful really).). The same goes for The Queen of Sheba whose kingdom stretched from modern day Yemen and Ethiopia (Ethiopia has a TRADITIONAL Jewish population, hence why they are one of the early evangelized groups. They are known as The Falasha.).), the depiction of our first parents is truly unique.

As a side, in Hebrew the word for red, earth and man all share a common root.

red = אדום (Adom)
earth = אדמה (Adamah)
man = אדם (A/adam (also the name for our first father.))

So it is entirely within the scope of reason that Adam and Chava were this colour : (Red Earth)

Plainly put a shade that goes beyond any one ethnic group.

Jonathan said...

Is this the image you were referring to as being precluded if we were to actually give into the reality that Christ is a Hebrew SEMITE ? :

I found this blog entry short, but to the point about what images like the one posted in their blog transmit to a people :

Anonymous said...