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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Strictly speaking, the adjectives “perversion” and “unnatural” could be most readily applied to the beliefs advocated successfully by the author aram “City of God” than the most debased libertine. The abolition of many church disciplines after Vatican II threw the Adwm Catholic church in the West into an orgy of silliness, abandonment of moral standards, and heresy.

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.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

And we admit that the same nature exists in every race, and the same virtue. As sserpent young researcher at Barnard College, she changed forever the historical landscape of the Christian r Elaine Pagels is a preeminent adaam in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect.

The gnostics were thus considerably anti-establishment and as such they drove Irenaeus and his fellows a little crazy. A doubtful hypothesis, that the letters attributed to Paul were written by more than one person, becomes the foundation for a very dubious hypothesis, that the presumed authors contradict one another on the matter of lagels life, which becomes the foundation for her own argument about the earliest conceptions of Christian freedom.

When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of all humanity? What Pagels seems to mean by self-government, although she has apparently not thought it out, is a utopian self-creation of human nature such as in Marxist revolution which often ends in the most tyrannous deprivations of liberty and dignity.


Christian freedom is the assumption of a yoke more demanding, but at the same time, through grace, far sweeter than the law of Moses: 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 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. About half the book deals with Augustine’s interpretations and the other half is the people he argued against. As a young researcher at Barnard College, she changed forever the historical landscape of the Christian religion by exploding the myth of the early Christian Church as a unified movement.

Pagels is an acknowledged expert on the early Christian church and her strength in this book and others is to demonstrate the range and variety of opinions that existed during the period up to the Fifth Century. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Read more Read less.

Augustine did this because he read his own sexual struggles into Romans; and.

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Both theology zerpent political experience led them to establish a system of government that restricted the opportunity for one person, group, or region to dominate others. Most theologians of the early church believed that human beings were created as good, and in the image of God. Some see it as a pathway to freedom and liberation while others see it as a rationalization of and treatment for mankind’s hhe. They believed that certain natural “evils,” like death and pain, were inherent serpeny the created order, but that individual “evils,” like murder and adultery, were entirely of our own volition.


Many Christians of the first four centuries took pride in their sexual restraint, eschewed polygamy and divorce, which Jewish tradition allowed — and they repudiated extramarital sexual practices commonly accepted by their pagan contemporaries, practices that included prostitution, qdam of slaves and homosexuality.

Because nature was sinful it played towards mankind’s need for more government, a view which previously was alien to christian ideas.

God blessed humanity with a will that can choose moral freedom, thats what being made in the image of God was about.

By focusing on how various Church fathers–Origen, Chrysostom, Julain, Pelagius, Augustine–read the first three chapters of Genesis, she shows how Christian attitudes arose from these men’s psychologies and political situations. The book is not an introductory text, and it pagrls pretty dense.

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

Pxgels deals with Paul’s apparent endorsement of Augustine’s view of human nature at length, one quote I thought dealt with the main pauline reference romans 5: From The New Yorker This virtuoso study may disquiet some readers and refresh others; the debate it opens is not likely to leave and reader unmoved.

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Jan 28, Mariana rated it it was amazing. A lucid and succinct examination of the early Christian debate about sexuality and free will. Explore the Home Gift Guide.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels | : Books

Any scholarly author who has ever tried to do that will recognize the brilliance of her achievement. Showing of 55 reviews. Well-educated people wanting to understand sex and sin. This is a history one should understand before committing to the creed that derives from it.