Retelling Noah and the Flood: A Fictional Encounter with Genesis 6-9

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

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This article explores the retellings of and interactions with the biblical account of Noah and the flood (Gen 6-9) in modern literature. The four novels under scrutiny range from children’s literature, via young adult fiction, to main-stream fiction. They also represent diverse traditions and perspectives: from a marked Jewish or Christian perspective to more secular view-points. The article investigates how these novels fill in narrative gaps and provide the key dramatic personae with personality, background, and motivation for their actions. It also looks at how they respond to theological problems that the biblical account raises. Why did God decide to send the flood? Why were Noah and his family spared from the catastrophe? Did Noah preach repentance whilst building the ark? Finally, it notes how several of the novels engage with extra-biblical texts (e.g. the Gilgamesh Epic, the book of Enoch) in order to produce a coherent and involving plot.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalRelegere: Studies in Religion and Reception
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Genesis
  • Noah
  • Reception History
  • Literature
  • Fiction
  • Flood Narrative
  • Noah
  • Religion


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