- The first book of the Old Testament recounting the events from the Creation of the world to the sojourning of the Israelites in Egypt
- The coming into being of something; the origin.
As this is the first post it seemed appropriate to start at the beginning!
“Genesis” has a two derivations within Philosophy; the first is the first book of the Jewish and Christian bible. The book sets out a “history” of the earth and humanity from creation until Joseph settles in Egypt. It begins with the famous words; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, tells of Adam and Eve’s temptation and ejection from the Garden, Noah’s flood, the promises to Abraham to make his offspring a great people and eventually Joseph’s dreams and dream interpretation.
There has been a great deal of interest in recent decades on how Genesis should be interpreted made famous by scholars such as Richard Dawkins who have criticised those Christians with a literalist/fundamentalist view that all scripture should be interpreted literally. The reality is that most Christians do not see Genesis as a literal account of how the world began, rather it is better interpreted as allegory or aetiologically. This means that Adam and Eve’s sin is a story about human nature and everyone’s failed relationship with a loving God, Babel is an ancient story trying to explain the diversity of language and Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac is an examination of faith in extreme circumstances.
A very good documentary which examines this issue is “Did Darwin Kill God” presented by Conor Cunningham - you can watch it here: http://youtu.be/9x3JJILFmU4?list=PLvdMe5Deq6Zodtalew25fx6d_rq4qlStC
The second meaning of the word to philosophers is the generation of an idea or the creation of a concept. For example; “Hard Determinism had its genesis in the order and predictability of Newtonian physics”. Quite how philosophers are supposed to come up with new ideas… that is much more difficult to blog about!