West of eden: Carrying on

Samuel Weber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


"West of Eden" attempts to rethink the forces driving "Western" history and culture as informed by what might be called a "monotheological identity paradigm," first deployed and articulated in the Biblical narrative of the creation of the world through a single, exclusive and universal God. This God, who can tell Moses in Exodus that his name is "I am who I am" (or in other translations: "... who I will be") is perhaps the projection of a wish to conceive being in general and human being in particular as self-identical and impervious to temporal and spatial (and hence bodily) alteration. If this is so, then much of what is called "secular culture" can be seen as an extension of this model, which is brought down to earth with the appearance of God in human form. The death of Christ, far from being the death of God, would then signify the deification of man through the promise of bodily resurrection and eternal life. This would be the way "back" to an Eden whose Eastern Gates are barred. In an age of "globalization," this model suggests the need to rethink the relation of "East" and "West" in terms of this imaginary (in the Lacanian sense) and impossible attempt to "return" to a life in which the "Self" could be construed as perennial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalTamkang Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Creator-God
  • Hamlet's child-players
  • Identification
  • Image
  • Self-identity
  • World/globe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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