I have nothing but reverence and respect for Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Hopko. I find them very refreshing when reading their spiritual and philosophical ideas. I just assumed St. Vlad's deans were non-literalists when it comes to Scripture, which makes one open to the science of evolution.
Where can I read Fr. Schmemann's interpretation of Genesis?
PS although not a dean, I also do have a respect for Fr. Seraphim Rose, despite my disagreement with his views on evolution
i dont know of any place where he just goes into an interpretation of Genesis, but the subject comes up quite a bit in his book Great Lent, and in some other works. here's a few relevant quotes:
Fr. Schmemann, Great Lent, pg. 40
The “continuous reading” of Genesis, Isaiah, and Proverbs has its origin at the time when Lent was still the main pre-baptismal season of the Church and lenten services were predominantly catechetical in their character, i.e., dedicated to the indoctrination of the catechumen. Each of the three books corresponds to one of the three basic aspects of the Old Testament: the history of God’s activity in Creation, prophecy, and the ethical or moral teachings. The Book of Genesis gives, as it were, the “framework” of the Church’s faith. It contains the story of Creation, of the Fall, and finally that of the promise and the beginning of salvation through God’s covenant with his chosen people. It conveys the three fundamental dimensions of the Church’s belief in God as Creator, Judge, and Savior. It reveals the roots of the Christian understanding of man as created in the “image and likeness of God,” as falling away from God, and as remaining the object of divine love, care, and ultimately salvation. It discloses the meaning of history as the history of salvation leading to and fulfilled in Christ. It announces the mystery of the Church through the images and realities of the People of God, Covenant, Ark, etc.
With a unique art, St. Andrew interwove the great biblical themes – Adam and Eve, Paradise and Fall, the Patriarchs, Noah and the Flood, David, the Promised Land, and ultimately Christ and the Church – with confession of sin and repentance. The events of sacred history are revealed as events of my life, God’s acts in the past as acts aimed at me and my salvation, the tragedy of sin and betrayal as my personal tragedy. My life is shown to me as part of the great and all-embracing fight between God and the powers of darkness which rebel against Him . . . Thus, for four evenings the nine odes of the Canon tell me again and again the spiritual story of the world which is also my story. They challenge me with the decisive events and acts of the past whose meaning and power, however, are eternal because every human soul – unique and irreplaceable – moves, as it were, through the same drama, is faced with the same ultimate choices, discovers the same ultimate reality. Scriptural examples are more than mere “allegories” as many people think, and who therefore find this Canon too “overworked,” too loaded with irrelevant names and episodes. Why speak, they ask, of Cain and Able, of David and Solomon, when it should be so much simpler just to say: “I have sinned”?
Because of sin and betrayal, the joyful day of Creation [Saturday] has become the day of death; for Creation, by “subjecting itself to futility” (Rom. 8:20), has itself become death. But Christ’s Death restores the seventh day, making it the day of re-creation, of the overcoming and destruction of that which made this world a triumph of death. And the ultimate purpose of Lent is to restore in us the “eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” which is the content of the Christian faith, love, and hope.
It is important, therefore, to discern the uniquely Christian content of fasting. It is first of all revealed to us in the interdependence between two events which we find in the Bible: one at the beginning of the Old Testament and the other at the beginning of the New Testament. The first event is the “breaking of the fast” by Adam in Paradise. He ate of the forbidden fruit. This is how man’s original sin is revealed to us. Christ, the New Adam – and this is the second event – begins by fasting. Adam was tempted and he succumbed to temptation; Christ was tempted and He overcame that temptation. The result of Adam’s failure is expulsion from Paradise and death. The fruits of Christ’s victory are the destruction of death and our return to Paradise.
God, we are told, “created no death.” He is the Giver of Life. How then did life become mortal? Why is death and death alone the only absolute condition of that which exists? The Church answers: because man rejected life as it was offered and given to him by God and preferred a life depending not on God alone but on “bread alone.”
The unfathomable tragedy of Adam is that he ate for its own sake. More than that, he ate “apart” from God in order to be independent of Him. And if he did it, it is because he believed that food had life in itself and that he, by partaking of that food, could be like God, i.e., have life in himself. To put it very simply: he believed in food, whereas the only object of belief, of faith, of dependence is God and God alone. World, food, became his gods, the sources and principles of his life. He became their slave. Adam – in Hebrew – means “man.” It is my name, our common name. Man is still Adam, still the slave of “food.” He may claim that he believes in God, but God is not his life, his food, the all-embracing content of his existence. He may claim that he receives his life from God but he doesn’t live in God and for God. His science, his experience, his self-consciousness are all built on that same principle: “by bread alone.” We eat in order to be alive but we are not alive in God. This is the sin of all sins. This is the verdict of death pronounced on our life.”
The Eucharist, pg. 61
Any consecration in the Church is not a creation of “sacred objects,” by their sanctity contraposed to the “profane,” i.e. the unconsecrated, but their referral to their original and at the same time ultimate meaning – God’s conception of them. For the entire world was created as an “altar of God,” as a temple, as a symbol of the kingdom. According to its conception, it is all sacred, and not “profane,” for its essence lies in the divine “very good” of Genesis. The sin of man consists in the fact that he has darkened the “very good” in his very being and as such has torn the world away from God, made it an “end in itself,” and therefore a fall and death.
But God has saved the world. He saved it in that he again revealed its goal: the kingdom of God; its life: to be the path to this kingdom; its meaning: to be in communion with God, and in him with all creation. And therefore, in contrast to the pagan “sanctification,” which consists in the sacralization of separate parts and objects of the world, the Christian sanctification consists in the restoration to everything in the world of its symbolic nature, its “sacramentality,” in referring everything to the ultimate aim of being. All our worship services therefore are an ascent to the altar and a return back to “this world” for witness to “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Co 2:9).