Beyond Belief

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9781400079087
Release Date: 2004-05-04
Genre: Religion

In Beyond Belief, renowned religion scholar Elaine Pagels continues her groundbreaking examination of the earliest Christian texts, arguing for an ongoing assessment of faith and a questioning of religious orthodoxy. Spurred on by personal tragedy and new scholarship from an international group of researchers, Pagels returns to her investigation of the “secret” Gospel of Thomas, and breathes new life into writings once thought heretical. As she arrives at an ever-deeper conviction in her own faith, Pagels reveals how faith allows for a diversity of interpretations, and that the “rogue” voices of Christianity encourage and sustain “the recognition of the light within us all.”

The Gnostic Gospels

Author: Elaine Pagels
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588364178
Release Date: 2004-06-29
Genre: Religion

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Gnostic Gospels is a landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity, a work of luminous scholarship and wide popular appeal. First published in 1979 to critical acclaim, winning the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Gnostic Gospels has continued to grow in reputation and influence over the past two decades. It is now widely recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible histories of early Christian spirituality published in our time. In 1945 an Egyptian peasant unearthed what proved to be the Gnostic Gospels, thirteen papyrus volumes that expounded a radically different view of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ from that of the New Testament. In this spellbinding book, renowned religious scholar Elaine Pagels elucidates the mysteries and meanings of these sacred texts both in the world of the first Christians and in the context of Christianity today. With insight and passion, Pagels explores a remarkable range of recently discovered gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, to show how a variety of “Christianities” emerged at a time of extraordinary spiritual upheaval. Some Christians questioned the need for clergy and church doctrine, and taught that the divine could be discovered through spiritual search. Many others, like Buddhists and Hindus, sought enlightenment—and access to God—within. Such explorations raised questions: Was the resurrection to be understood symbolically and not literally? Was God to be envisioned only in masculine form, or feminine as well? Was martyrdom a necessary—or worthy—expression of faith? These early Christians dared to ask questions that orthodox Christians later suppressed—and their explorations led to profoundly different visions of Jesus and his message. Brilliant, provocative, and stunning in its implications, The Gnostic Gospels is a radical, eloquent reconsideration of the origins of the Christian faith.

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.

The Origin of Satan

Author: Elaine H. Pagels
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679731184
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Religion

A study of the role of the devil in biblical and modern times theorizes that dissident social gorups that resisted Christianity, such as pagans and Jews, were typically portrayed as demons and therefore established as threats. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.

Revelations

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 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 H. Pagels
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0670038458
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Religion

Evaluates the meaning of the controversial, newly-discovered Gospel of Judas, illustrating how the text offers an understanding of Judas's betrayal, the apostles' understanding of Jesus's death, and God's role in the crucifixion.

The First Urban Christians

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

This study draws on the letters of Paul, his associates and disciples, to elucidate the world of the early Christians. In this second edition, which includes a new preface, Meeks presents a social history of the early Christian movement discussing such subjects as the urban community, city versus country, women, social stratification, the relationship between Judaism and early Christianity, government, religious ritual and belief systems.

The Devil Problem

Author: David Remnick
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780804173636
Release Date: 2014-04-02
Genre: Literary Collections

Readers know from his now classic Lenin's Tomb that Remnick is a superb portraitist who can bring his subjects to life and reveal them in such surprising ways as to justify comparison to Dickens, Balzac, or Proust. In this collection, Remnick's gift for character is sharper than ever, whether he writes about Gary Hart stumbling through life after Donna Rice or Mario Cuomo, who now presides over a Saturday morning radio talk show, fielding questions from crackpots, or about Michael Jordan's awesome return to the Chicago Bulls -- or Reggie Jackson's last times at bat. Remnick's portraits of such disparate characters as Alger Hiss and Ralph Ellison, Richard Nixon and Elaine Pagels, Gerry Adams and Marion Barry are unified by this extraordinary ability to create a living character, so that the pieces in this book, taken together, constitute a splendid pageant of the representative characters of our time.

When God Was A Woman

Author: Merlin Stone
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 9780307816856
Release Date: 2012-05-09
Genre: Religion

Here, archaeologically documented,is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Under her, women’s roles were far more prominent than in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Stone describes this ancient system and, with its disintegration, the decline in women’s status.

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.

Bread Not Stone

Author: Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807012319
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Religion

"Schüssler Fiorenza stands among the most articulate and respected theologians who have challenged the silence and marginality that have characterized the great majority of Christian women for nearly 2,000 years. . . . Bread Not Stone engages issues, explicit and implicit, that are sure to spark discussion, argument, and reflection among thoughtful Christians." -The New York Times Book Review