Symbolism in the Old testament for sociological purposes


Cain represents the farmer, Abel the hunter-gatherer/nomad/sheep herder. What other characters from the Old Testament do sociologists like tom use to explain the development/evolution of society/civilization?

I look forward to your feedback.

Quite possibly ALL of them.

For example, Noah pronounces a curse upon one of his three sons, Ham.

Bigots and pro-slavery people have somehow read into this that Ham went into exile, became the founder of the whole African people, who by Noah’s curse have been, to this day, fit only to be the slaves and servants of Noah’s other descendants.

Note that serious legitimate sociologists probably don’t agree with THAT point of view.

The story of the tower of babel can be read in light of the conflict between city-settlers and nomad-farmers. The story of Abraham and Isaac deals the the abandonment of child sacrifice, and attitudes towards neighbouring societies which continue to practice it. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah deals with urban versus rural conflicts, and wealth versus poverty. And so on.

These are mythic stories. The deal with Big Themes. That how they end up being treated as scripture. So you’d expect a fair proportion of them to address common sources of social tension.

Who is Tom?