More and more I have grappled with the creation account in Genesis and what we mean when we talk about Adam and Eve and original sin. The problem I’ve been noticing is that Genesis is both interpreted symbolically and literally, and that this is done in a way that seems to pick and choose which parts are symbolic and which are literal. For example, most Catholics would agree that the 7 days given are not literal days of the week. So these are interpreted symbolically. Adam and Eve, however, seem to be interpreted literally. Or at least there is a belief in “the first humans” that brought original sin into the world.
What I find lacking in today’s theology is a description of important details of whether original sin occurred over a precise moment, whether it occurred over a long period of time as humanity developed, whether or not the church believes in a creationist account with humans simply being formed from clay, or whether we take an evolutionary approach, in which case it is hard to say just who the first humans were (and therefore hard to lay out exactly how original sin developed).
I guess what is disturbing to me, and maybe it is because I have not exposed myself to the best information available on this topic, is that it seems we Catholics are content to say “the first humans sinned and because of that we have inherited this original sin, the result of which is man’s flawed nature.” And that’s that. But that raises a whole host of questions that need answering. Who exactly was it who sinned? If we interpret Adam and Eve literally as actual people, then we must also interpret the rest of Genesis as literal - we can’t just pick and choose. Also, I apologize for my inability to convey my thoughts in a clear manner right now, I am writing in a bit of a rush and am getting very tired! Any help or links to information would be very appreciated!