Counterparts – From the Very Beginning

  • Luigino Bruni
Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC, volume 4)


From the very beginning, Adam is placed in the garden of Eden, he takes care of it and cultivates it. He works. Two of the trees have a name: the tree of life’ and ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam is allowed to eat the fruits of the tree of life and the other trees but not those of the second tree. And at this point Elohim says: It is not good for Adam to be alone. And Elohim made for Adam his counterpart. For the first time, in a creation that is still all good and beautiful, we find that there is something that is “not good”, namely, loneliness, a relational shortcoming. This is where one of the most striking and richest passages of Genesis starts. There is an assembly of animals and birds of the sky in front of Adam. Adam gives them their name, that is, he enters into a relationship with them, gets to know them and discovers their nature and mystery; but at the end of this procession of the non-human creation Adam is not satisfied because he has not yet found any creature that could stand by his side as his counterpart.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigino Bruni
    • 1
  1. 1.GEPLI Department – EconomicsLibera Università Maria SS. AssuntaRomaItaly

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