Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. Elaine Pagels. Reviewed by Frank Thomas Smith. In The Gnostic Gospels, reviewed in Number 2 of Southern Cross Review. It’s clear from reading this early work by Elaine Pagels why she has become In Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels traces the interpretation of Genesis In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Part 36, Page

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I fear this makes me most indignant — not that the forgeries were committed, but that our worthy Christian churches continue knowingly or, more likely in the case of most clergy, ignorantly to preach lies as the truth. To sum it up again: And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body apgels the soul.


Gnostic Gospels was a textbook for a class, and I read many of her articles about the Nag Hammadi texts, etc. She does it extremely well, and anyone reading this will have a much better grasp on several key points of controversy within the Christian world during its first four centuries.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. A comparison of Orthodox Romania and Catholic Poland confirms that this difference still exists. I may not keep this book, but I’m certainly glad to have read it. But there are no citations of readings of Genesis hy Justin or Irenaeus or Tertullian or Origen at all.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

A dry read, but a lot of interesting insights. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. The documents found in Egypt had obviously been hidden there to preserve them from destruction.

Like most of her books, except her doctoral dissertation, this one, while confined sepent the first centuries of the Church, deals with matters which, while ancient, are still relevant. However, I feel that the acam gives me a healthy skepticism about my use of that freedom.


Aug 18, Robert Mitchell rated it really liked it.

As time went on, the membership of the Christian sect grew. However, before these doctrines were defined by the early ecumenical councils, many theologians and even some passages in Scripture used language that sounds like Arianism, Nestorianism, monotheletism, or other heresies. Touchstone is published by All content The Fellowship of St. I especially enjoyed a couple of pages in which Pagels discussed why people have the tendency to feel guilt when some travesty takes place in their lives ie “what did I do to deserve this?

Originally labeled heretical by the Pope, Augustine’s reading of Genesis was later lobbied not only into acceptance but dominance that is so long-standing, so pervasive that we automatically take it for granted. All in all, I learned more thee the early church and the formation of theological assumptions than in any other text. Open Preview See a Problem? Sep 19, Pages Buy. When eerpent the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of all humanity? Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Pagels may have chosen not to articulate them because a seemingly detached academic analysis is a better tool for feminism than is an explicitly polemic book. Some see it as a pathway to freedom and liberation pagelw others see it as a rationalization of and treatment for mankind’s depravity. Please provide an email address.

I find the seriousness which this obviously ludicrous myth is debated amazing, but completely astounding is that the interpretation Augustine came up with became the one the religion went with. The set of beliefs and understanding of man and the world Serpenr is the wonderful German word for it that largely informs the Christian church to this day was defined and crystallized in those first four or five centuries. Jun 04, Taylor Storey rated it really liked it.

Her ability to synthesize the often complex thoughts of a host of biblical and early church voices on adwm ranging from free will to human nature to original sin to celibacy is impressive. Mar 24, William2 rated it really liked it Shelves: Nov 03, lp rated it liked it. The book appears to be largely made of revised articles Pagels had published elsewhere, but the flow is seamless enough and the concepts cohere so much as to allow that to go unnoticed unless one reads the footnotes.


The book has some problems in that the beginning is repetitive in a couple Finally finished this one for the book group. Such views, serpsnt not completely original, soon became inseparable from Christian faith. The Audacity of the State. The book most contains quotes and analysis of early Christian and some contemporary Jewish thinkers from Jerome to Augustine and Julian of Eclanum. Non-scholars especially should be prepared and know they are wading into a serious treatise.

Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. Oct 05, Pages.

He could not get his mind reason was considered good to control his sexual urges and therefore his sexual urges and nature were sinful. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

One wonders in any event whether it is begging the question to say that people in a world characterized by ” pain, labor, and death ” have a freedom to choose good or evil as perfect as Adam’s was. I’ve never read Pagels before, either, so she’s a new authour to me. Pagels in her attempt to examine the history of an idea, that of original sin, does not do a thorough enough synchronic and diachronic analysis; that is, she does not examine the argument at each stage while also showing how the very terms of the argument changed over the course of the debate.

This book looks at some of the ideas at the core of Christian belief and practice and helps to sort out for the reader how they came to be as they are stated today. For moral self-restraint is common to all human beings who have chosen it.