Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Part 36, Page 133

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Vintage Books, 1988 - Religion - 189 pages
54 Reviews
"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 all 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 choose not 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."--Page 4 of cover.

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This book was full of so much information that I had to read it twice and still need to read it again. Pagels does pretty well with keeping the information pertinent and concise but she occasionally dwells particularly in the first half. At one point she is derailed forgetting he general audience and seemingly losing her focus in favor of a dry argument she must routinely engage in with fellow scholars. Once that endless chapter is over the last half of the book flies as she reaches full momentum and creates the most valuable pieces of literature on the early shaping of Christianity/Catholicism that is available to the layman in one comprehensive work with such detailed portrayals of the key players the layman studying for his/her own enlightenment might erroneously fancy themselves a scholar for a moment.
Thank you for your work on this informative work!

Review: Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

User Review  - Judy Lackritz - Goodreads

The Biblical Jewish attitude toward sexuality was aimed at procreation, hence divorce, particularly in the case of barrenness, was permitted. But prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and infanticide ... Read full review


The Kingdom of God Is at Hand
Christians Against Roman Order
Gnostic Improvisations on Genesis

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About the author (1988)

Elaine Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship best known for her studies and writing on the Gnostic Gospels. Pagels graduated from Stanford University receiving a B.A. in 1964 and an M.A. in 1965. She received a Ph.D in religion from Harvard University in 1970. She is the author of The Gnostic Gospels (1979), which won the National Book Award (Religion 1980) and the National Book Critics Circle Award (Criticism 1979). Pagels is also the author of Adam, Eve and the Serpent (1988), The Origin of Satan (1995), Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003), Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (2007), and Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation (2012).

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