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

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 5, 2011 - Religion - 224 pages
4 Reviews
Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us.

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Adam, Eve, and the serpent

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Pagels explores the development of the ideas of human nature, moral freedom, and sexuality in the four centuries following Christ. Focusing on the various interpretations of the Genesis creation ... Read full review

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As one who teaches courses on early Christian thought, I must say Elaine Pagels seems often not to understand the arguments of the Patristic figures nor make a strong case for the political motivations of the writers. She particularly misunderstands the thinking of St. Augustine and his reasoning for developing the theology of original sin. It is worth investigating the political discourses of the period of the early Church, but one should seek more thorough research. For example how would the interpretation of the Greek speaking school of Alexandria that in the 2nd century of say Clement of Alexandria differ from the interpretation in Latin speaking Rome? Or what influence did the decay of the Roman Empire have on the development of Augustine's thought.  


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About the author (2011)

Elaine Pagels earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in classical studies at Stanford, and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of "Adam, Eve, and the Serpent"; "The Origin of Satan"; and "The Gnostic Gospel"s, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award. She is currently the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Pagels lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and children.

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