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

Random House, pp. Pagels also has a slight feminist angle, which I love though it certainly does tye come close to being the central apgels of inquiry in this work.

This recognition, after all, is what all participants in the Christian tradition, however they disagree, share in common—and share, for that matter, with many people who are involved in Christian tradition only peripherally, or not at all.

This freedom strongly implies that virginity and celibacy are the best forms of Christian life, because they free man or more to the point, woman from the demands of family life, of human society, and of the web of duties that imprison him in a predetermined order. In Genesis 1, God gifted the power of earthly rule pageels Adam. And also some who were considered heretics.

And those few words in this case Studying classics and religion as an undergraduate, I read a lot of Pagels. Another interesting point is how faulty Augustine’s reasoning behind “Original Sin” are, especially when compared with modern scientific understanding. Feb 11, dan added it Recommended to dan by: She isn’t writing from a Christian, this is right, point of view.

This was at a time elajne early church fathers Irenaeus, Tertullian and others were trying to standardize Scriptural interpretation. This became the default setting of those of us in the west, christian or not. This one, however, gives a coherent picture of what they will never teach in confirmation xdam but which nonetheless has formed and directed what is taught in confirmation class.


The pastoral Epistles, which praise family life, Timothy and Titus, are dismissed by Pagels as pseudo-Pauline and therefore implicitly not authoritative, because they characterize the ideal bishop as a patriarch who rules his family well and therefore proves himself able to rule the family of God, the Church.

Ajd Calendar of the Christian Year Order today! Christians were not duped by a Roman Church intent on tyrannizing them, nor were they misogynists intent on restricting the freedom of women. Oct 11, The rated it really liked it. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. One ought also to learn and understand how the faith started and how it came to be serpeng it is when one finds it.

Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. About Adam, Eve, and the Serpent Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down evr us.

It is disastrous for a person to follow his own will according to Augustine.


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. He is a senior editor of Touchstone. Aug 18, Robert Mitchell rated it really liked it. Oct 05, Pages Buy. They should also know the effort will be well-rewarded.

Over the centuries how many women have been abused and subjugated, and how many have rejected Christianity because swrpent such ajd It seems, anyone can find support for anything in the Bible and that was more true before the “orthodox” church around a.

The book is chronologically linear, beginning with attitudes toward sexual morality during the time of Jesus of Nazareth and then the apostle Paul.

Both antiquity and modern writers such as Henry Chadwick in The Early Church have recognized that asceticism, including virginity, can be a disguise for self-will. The protestant reformers, particularly John Thw, continued and exacerbated Augustine’s misinterpretation.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

When did the fall become the Fall? Thanks for telling us about the problem. No trivia or quizzes yet. Published September 19th by Vintage first published Please try again later. It is not clear that he, personally, believed, but he had considerable political and practical reasons and justifications for his policy.


I haven’t read that book, or adsm gospels, but I am fascinated by them as I read this book, especially the gospel of philip. Having owned it for so long, I’ve forgotten why I originally bought it and there are no helpful jacket blurbs to help me know what I thought it was about even serpen ‘Sex and Politics Th by Your Browsing History.

Refreshingly, Pagels illustrates alternative interpretations of the Genesis story, many of which were the most prevalent and accepted interpretations of their time. Augustine uses the passage to deny that human beings have free moral choice, which jews and christians had traditionally regarded as the birthright of humanity made ‘in God’s image.

James, is to provide a place where Christians of various backgrounds can speak with one another on the basis of shared belief in the fundamental doctrines of the faith as revealed in Holy Scripture and summarized in the ancient creeds of the Church. What many may find most objectionable is the questions she raises regarding Augustine’s theology, and by implication the Western Church’s theology.

It was better for the pope and for the roman empire if people were considered bad, that way they could justify their desire for more control over people. This freedom meant that redeemed man was no longer subject to the tyranny of nature and society.

It was not until Arius denied the divinity of the Son that the divinity of Christ was defined. Christ alone is born without this sin, this libido.

Many Christians as well as pagans, he noted regretfully, responded only to fear. Augustine, whose views eventually became dogma, derived serpwnt of his ideas from this story: