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
11 Reviews
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DieFledermaus - LibraryThing

In The Simpsons, Ned Flanders, the annoying goody-goody neighbor, notes at one point that he’s tried to be a good Christian by following the Bible – even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff ... Read full review

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User Review  - DubiousDisciple - LibraryThing

Augustine, arguably Christianity’s greatest teacher, often stressed the sinful nature of sexual desire. Adam’s sin corrupted the whole of nature itself, and infants are infected from the moment of ... Read full review

Contents

The Kingdom of God Is at Hand
7
Christians Against the Roman Order
32
Gnostic Improvisations on Genesis
57
The Paradise of Virginity Regained
78
The Politics of Paradise
98
The Nature of Nature
127
5 I
151
Index
177
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About the author (2011)

Elaine Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of Reading Judas, The Gnostic Gospels-winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award- and the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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