‘Like Adam and Eve’: Biblical Models and Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Christian Europe

Elisheva Baumgarten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article follows the exegetical and legal interpretations of the story of Adam and Eve among Jewish scholars of the High Middle Ages living in northern Europe. It argues that by following these evolving interpretations and understandings one can tease out details of the fabric of everyday Jewish life alongside tensions and norms that were under debate. It focuses on two main aspects of these reinterpretations. The first is understandings concerning conjugal life and gender hierarchies. The second is legal rights and responsibilities accorded to women as ‘daughters of Eve.’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-61
Number of pages18
JournalIrish Theological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research for this paper was begun with the support of Israel Science Foundation Grant 646/14 and expanded and completed as part of a grant awarded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant 681507).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • biblical exegesis
  • gender
  • medieval Jews
  • medieval social history

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Adam -- (Biblical figure)
  • Eve -- (Biblical figure)
  • Bible -- Genesis -- Criticism, interpretation, etc., Jewish -- History -- Middle Ages, 600-1500
  • Jews -- Europe -- History -- Middle Ages, 500-1500
  • Jewish women -- Europe -- History -- Middle Ages, 500-1500


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