Beyond Belief

Author: Elaine H. Pagels
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 0330431978
Release Date: 2005-01-21
Genre: Bible

When her young son was diagnosed with fatal pulmonary hypertension, religion professor Pagels' spiritual and intellectual endeavors took on a new urgency, leading her to investigate what Jesus and his teachings meant to his followers before the invention of doctrine.

Adam Eve and the Serpent

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307807359
Release Date: 2011-10-05
Genre: Religion

Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into the bulwark of a new imperial order—with the central belief that human beings cannot not choose to sin? In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked the early church as it confronted the riddles of sexuality, freedom, and sin as embodied in the story of Genesis. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.


Author: Elaine H. Pagels
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143121633
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Religion

Explores the New Testament book of Revelation in a historical first-century context, reinterpreting the book as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome that was subsequently adopted by early Christians as a weapon against heresy.

The Gnostic Gospels

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781780226705
Release Date: 2013-07-25
Genre: History

As discussed in The Da Vinci Code... Long buried and suppressed, the Gnostic Gospels contain the secret writings attributed to the followers of Jesus. In 1945 fifty-two papyrus texts, including gospels and other secret documents, were found concealed in an earthenware jar buried in the Egyptian desert. These so-called Gnostic writings were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament. The material they embodied - poems, quasi-philosophical descriptions of the origins of the universe, myths, magic and instructions for mystic practice - were later declared heretical, as they offered a powerful alternative to the Orthodox Christian tradition. In a book that is as exciting as it is scholarly, Elaine Pagels examines these texts and the questions they pose and shows why Gnosticism was eventually stamped out by the increasingly organised and institutionalised Orthodox Church.

The Origin of Satan

Author: Elaine H. Pagels
ISBN: 0140153683
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Bible

This work is a social history of the devil. The figure of Satan has been a standing puzzle in the history of religion. This study examines his origins and his shifting functions. Satan is not present in classical Jewish sources (and scarcely present in traditional Judaism to this day). Images of Satan began to develop and proliferate in later Jewish sources not included in the Hebrew Bible. The book explores this early history or invention of the devil, and traces Satan's subsequent transformations as one of society's most necessary fictions.

The Gnostic Paul

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1563380390
Release Date: 1992-03-01
Genre: Religion

Pagels argues against reading Paul either as hyper-Gnostic or hyper-orthodox, or blaming Paul for second century Gnostic efforts to read him out of context for their own support.

Reading Judas

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101202135
Release Date: 2007-03-06
Genre: Religion

The instant New York Times bestseller interpreting the controversial long-lost gospel The recently unearthed Gospel of Judas is a source of fascination for biblical scholars and lay Christians alike. Now two leading experts on the Gnostic gospels tackle the important questions posed by its discovery, including: How could any Christian imagine Judas to be Jesus' favorite? And what kind of vision of God does the author offer? Working from Karen L. King's brilliant new translation, Elaine Pagels and King provide the context necessary for considering its meaning. Reading Judas plunges into the heart of Christianity itself and will stand as the definitive look at the gospel for years to come.

Why Religion

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Ecco
ISBN: 0062368532
Release Date: 2018-11-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions. These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss—the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face. Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture. A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.

The First Urban Christians

Author: Wayne A. Meeks
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300098618
Release Date: 2003
Genre: History

Meeks analyzes the letters of Paul to see what kind of people joined the Christian groups in the urban centers and what it was like to be a Christian then.

The Gnostic Gospels

Author: Elaine H. Pagels
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0679724532
Release Date: 1989
Genre: Religion

A study of the Gnostic texts, which describe the same people and events portrayed in the New Testament but from a different perspective, reveals why their suppression was essential to the development of the Christian church

Atoms and Eden

Author: Steve Paulson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199781508
Release Date: 2010-11-01
Genre: Religion

Here is an unprecedented collection of twenty freewheeling and revealing interviews with major players in the ongoing--and increasingly heated--debate about the relationship between religion and science. These lively conversations cover the most important and interesting topics imaginable: the Big Bang, the origins of life, the nature of consciousness, the foundations of religion, the meaning of God, and much more. In Atoms and Eden, Peabody Award-winning journalist Steve Paulson explores these topics with some of the most prominent public intellectuals of our time, including Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, E. O. Wilson, Sam Harris, Elaine Pagels, Francis Collins, Daniel Dennett, Jane Goodall, Paul Davies, and Steven Weinberg. The interviewees include Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims, as well as agnostics, atheists, and other scholars who hold perspectives that are hard to categorize. Paulson's interviews sweep across a broad range of scientific disciplines--evolutionary biology, quantum physics, cosmology, and neuroscience--and also explore key issues in theology, religious history, and what William James called ''the varieties of religious experience.'' Collectively, these engaging dialogues cover the major issues that have often pitted science against religion--from the origins of the universe to debates about God, Darwin, the nature of reality, and the limits of human reason. These are complex, intellectually rich discussions, presented in an accessible and engaging manner. Most of these interviews were originally published as individual cover stories for, where they generated a huge reader response. Public Radio's "To the Best of Our Knowledge" will present a major companion series on related topics this fall. A feast of ideas and competing perspectives, this volume will appeal to scientists, spiritual seekers, and the intellectually curious.

Finding the Roots of Christianity

Author: Luke Painter
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 9781532610301
Release Date: 2017-06-05
Genre: Religion

Finding the Roots of Christianity is for people who are curious about the historical Jesus, his followers, and the movement they began. Who were they, and how was their message understood by those who heard them? Where did the New Testament of the Bible come from? In a personal, thoughtful style, Luke Painter brings into focus the life and times of the Jewish prophet Jesus of Nazareth, bridging the gap between personal study of the Bible and academic scholarship. Sources outside the Bible, including the ancient historian Josephus and recently discovered "lost scriptures" such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, reveal the diversity of early Christian beliefs. Roman religious beliefs influenced how the Christian message was understood during the transition from Jewish sects to the official religion of the Roman Empire. Clear and concise, and based on careful historical research, this book guides the reader through what is known about the earliest origins of Christianity as well as recent discoveries and debates. The author's personal journey of faith and passionate interest in the people behind the New Testament enliven the facts of history, illuminating their meaning for their own time as well as today.

Lo gnostico Paolo

Author: Elaine H. Pagels
Publisher: La Teca Edizioni
ISBN: 9788494012525
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Bibles

“Sono deluso dalla religione”. “Mi ritengo una persona spirituale, ma la Chiesa di oggi non mi rappresenta più”. “Nelle pratiche orientali posso vivere la mia spiritualità, alcune cose però le comprendo solo parzialmente”. È un’utopia vivere la spiritualità scostandosi dalla religione stabilita? E avvicinarsi a Dio senza intermediari? Un Cristianesimo vivo è ancora possibile? Elaine Pagels ci conduce verso un altro Cristianesimo. Quello oppresso, perseguitato, sotterrato dalle ingombranti pietre che costruirono una visione unita della Chiesa universale. Un Cristianesimo pronto a risorgere con forza, vitalità, ricchezza, ma segreto, gnostico, originale e nascosto. Fino a oggi. Una lettura gnostica delle lettere di San Paolo e, al contempo, un invito a conoscere un messaggio molto particolare, un Gesù e un insegnamento rivelati. Per un Cristianesimo fondato sull’uomo, non sulla colpa né sul peccato, capace di rivelare così la più completa conoscenza di noi stessi. E di Cristo. Un tesoro teorico dal valore inestimabile. Ora, qui, nelle tue mani.