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Descrizione dell’editore

The first narrative of the creation in Genesis 1, according to Luther, contains within itself all the rest of the Bible: "Primum caput Genesi totam scripturam in se continent." (1) The author of the prologue of the Gospel according to John was of the same persuasion, when he went back to the narrative's key words "word," "light," and "life" for a concise summary of his doctrine of the Messiah. Augustine was of a similar opinion and wrote so several times (in addition to his three commentaries on Genesis), ending his Confessions by reinterpreting the biblical cosmogony as the story of his own personal transformation. Many others shared the same opinion until the threshold of the modern era, perhaps best represented by the work of Pico della Mirandola and his famous Discorso (1486). The purpose of my essay is to show that precisely in the modern era there has been a turning point in interpretation of Genesis 1: starting from humanism, the first narrative of the creation of man became the locus classicus on which modern philosophical anthropology could be developed. In fact, the idea of man as representative of God played an essential role in the criticism and crisis of theocracy in the medieval model, but in some way also in the original theological-political model of all monotheisms. As a consequence, the modern association of "dignity" and "rights" could be enunciated, protected and affirmed precisely through this new reading of Genesis 1. The Christian idea of creation of the human being lies at the core of this essay. I shall begin with Pico's Discorso (1486) and Heptaplus (1489) and then present other crucial moments of the reading of Genesis 1, 26-28 by other thinkers, from Bartolome de Las Casas and Francisco De Vitoria to Margaret Fell and John Locke. (2)

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1 gennaio
Annali d'Italianistica, Inc.

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