Denison Journal of Religion

Article Title

Tower of Babel


Klinger reinterprets the Tower of Babel narrative to turn it from a story that speaks simply about god's punishment of human arrogance to a story that integrates that notion with perspectives that focus on environmentalism and diversity. Klinger warns against the temptation to oversimplify biblical narratives. He claims that the story of the Tower of Babel is a perfect example of how frequently this occurs. Klinger does not completely discredit the original interpretation of the story, but he does posit that a fuller understanding of the story could be reached by allowing more than one theory to be engaged in the discussion. The environmentalist approach recognizes that the imperialism that the Tower of Babel represents poses an inherent danger to the earth. Additionally, Klinger explains that God's act of dispersing the human population was not necessarily an act of punishment, but rather an act of compassion. Klinger claims that perhaps God did this because humanity benefits from diversity. Klinger concludes that integrating several perspectives into the explanation of any biblical story offers a fuller and understanding that more accurately reflects the human experience and humanity's relationship with divinity.