Science, Faith and Culture: Conflict and Reconciliation week 1

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Coffee with the Classics

Science, Faith, and Culture: Conflict

and Reconciliation

Week 1: Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Cosmology . (15th March 2017)

This week we study ancient near eastern Creation accounts from the Judeo- Christian tradition and the Babylonian tradition We are studying extracts from three documents:

1. Genesis chapters 1 & 2 From the first book in the Christian Bible or Jewish Torah. Thought to be written in its final form around 500 BCE, drawing together earlier accounts. • These chapters cover two Creation accounts from the first book in the Bible.

2. Enuma Elish the Babylonian Creation account discovered written on clay tablets in cuneiform in the ancient library of Nineveh, Babylon (modern day Iraq.) This edition ~700 BCE. • What are the similarities and differences between the Creation accounts in Genesis and in the Enuma Elish? • What are the physical worldviews in each? • What are the religious ideas in each?

3. Pope John Paul II’s 1986 audience “In Creation God Calls the World into Existence from Nothingness”. • How does John Paul II’s audience help us to reconcile the Creation account in Genesis with our modern understanding of the Universe? • Which, if any aspects of Genesis and the Enuma Elish can be reconciled?