The Great Flood in Genesis 6–9: An Ecological Reading of the J and P Traditions

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One of the not so obvious but deeply relevant factors in addressing climate change is religion and the interpretation of sacred texts, especially problematic ones. An example of problematic texts is the story of Noah and the great flood in Genesis 6–9. I will reread the Yahwist and Priestly versions of the story using a modified ecological triangle. This methodology looks at the dynamic relation between the divine and human, between the divine and non-human creatures, between humans and non-humans, and the inner dynamics of these three in the J and P narratives. The various insights gleaned from the investigation impact our rethinking of sacred texts in the age of the Anthropocene (the period during which human activity has been a dominant influence on climate and the environment), respecting boundaries in the context of the Capitalocene way of organizing the relations between humans and the rest of nature. The article provides additional spiritual resources in responding to the climate crisis, and grappling with disturbing images of God, humans, and non-humans in sacred texts in times of disasters.