Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Onslaught against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist
LaCocque, André

Eugene, Ore.: Cascade, 2008 pp. viii + 177. $22.00

Description: Never before has the problem of evil been a more urgent subject for our reflection. The Yahwist confronts the issue through a sequence of stories on the progressive deterioration of the divine-human relationship in Genesis 2-11. In Genesis 4 he narrates the initial slaughter of one human being by another, and strikingly, it is described as fratricidal. Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist provides a close reading of J's story by using literary criticism and psychological criticism. It shows that the biblical author has more than an "archaeological" design. His characters—including God, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, plus minor characters—are paradigmatic. They allow J to proceed with a fine analytical feel for the nature of evil as performed by "homo" as "homini lupus." No imaginative "mimesis" of evil has ever been recounted with such an economy of means and such depth of psychological insight.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Mark McEntire
Published 11/27/2009
Citation: Mark McEntire, review of André Lacocque, Onslaught against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us