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Title: The tree of life: Banned or not banned? a rational choice interpretation
Authors: Wagner-Tsukamoto, Sigmund
First Published: 31-Aug-2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, 2012, 26 (1), pp. 102-122
Abstract: Literal biblical interpretation advocates the view that at the outset of the paradise story Adam and Eve were only banned to eat of the tree of knowledge. The present paper challenges this view through an economic, rational choice interpretation and the application of a self-interested decision calculus (model of economic man). I mount the thesis that, on grounds of a rational choice reconstruction, Adam and Eve must have been implicitly banned from the outset not to eat of the tree of life, despite no explicit ban being stated in Genesis. The paper argues for the validity and insightfulness of such a rational choice analysis of the paradise story, which considerably clarifies the conceptual logic and structure of the Eden story.
DOI Link: 10.1080/09018328.2012.704211
ISSN: 0901-8328
eISSN: 1502-7244
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © Taylor & Francis 2012. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, 2012, 26 (1), pp. 102-122, available online at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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