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Vine painting by Hugh O'Donnell
Funding for GENESIS: A LIVING CONVERSATION is provided by The Samuel Bronfman Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, The Crown Family, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, The Streisand Foundation, the Joseph Meyerhoff Memorial Trusts, The North Star Fund, and The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America Life Insurance Company.

Intro by Bill Moyers

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden . . . Noah and the Flood . . . God's call to Abraham . . . Jacob wrestling with the angel . . . Joseph in exile in Egypt. The stories found in the Book of Genesis captured our ancestors' imaginations more than three thousand years ago--and they hold us today. What explains their power and endurance?

For one thing, to millions of people they are more than stories, they are sacred texts, sanctified over time by so many communities of faith that they resonate with a power and knowledge beyond our own.

They also challenge. These stories do not all have happy endings. They offer no easy answers to hard questions. They can leave us puzzled, forcing us to confront our own quandaries without pat solutions. Reading the story of Noah and the Flood, I am haunted by the ordeal of the survivor. I find Noah after the Flood both mystifying and troubling: God had spared him because he was a man "righteous in his generation," but he hardly behaves the way we'd expect a model of righteousness to behave. His story is full of contradictions and divine mystery--just like most of the stories in Genesis, just like our own.

-- From the Introduction to TALKING ABOUT GENESIS: A RESOURCE GUIDE, published by Doubleday for $5.95 and available wherever books are sold or by calling 1-800-323-9872. In Illinois, call 847-768-7000. The complete text of this introduction is available on this Web site.

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