Center for Global Humanities presents 'Why the Apple Falls Far from the Tree of Knowledge' on Jan. 29

An illustrative depiction of Adam and Eve
The lecture will be held Monday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m.

How did the apple – unmentioned in the Bible – become the dominant symbol of temptation, sin, and the Fall of Man?   

This is the topic scholar Azzan Yadin-Israel will explore when he visits the University of New England Center for Global Humanities to present a lecture titled “Why the Apple Falls Far from the Tree of Knowledge” on Monday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at the WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion on the UNE Portland Campus for the Health Sciences.

Yadin-Israel, who earned his B.A. from the Hebrew University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, is a professor of Jewish Studies and Classics at Rutgers University. He has published dozens of articles, and several books, including “Scripture as Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash,” “Scripture and Tradition: Rabbi Akiva and the Triumph of Midrash,” and “The Grace of God and the Grace of Man: The Theologies of Bruce Springsteen.” His most recent book, and the basis for his lecture at UNE, is “Temptation Transformed: The Story of How the Forbidden Fruit Became an Apple.”

In this talk, Yadin-Israel will pursue the mystery of the apple’s Edenic origin across art and religious history, uncovering where, when, and why the forbidden fruit — once thought to be a fig or a grape — came to be conceptualized as an apple. Ultimately, Yadin-Israel’s wide-ranging research will lead attendees to a new way of seeing a religious icon and a deeper appreciation of how cultural understanding evolves and changes over time. 

This will be the first of five events this spring at the Center for Global Humanities, where lectures are always free, open to the public, and streamed live online. For more information and to watch the event, please visit: