Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. Elaine Pagels. Reviewed by Frank Thomas Smith. In The Gnostic Gospels, reviewed in Number 2 of Southern Cross Review. In Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels traces the interpretation of Genesis from the Second Temple period through Augustine’s battles with the Pelagians. “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?.

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The problem is not in the political system, although some are worse than others, because they give more opportunities for tyrants, but in man himself.

Pagels Vintage Books- Religion – pages 10 Reviews https: Finally, we see the hugely influential opinions of Augustine, including the development of his theology of “Original Sin” and his understanding of nature. Since Christ came to save the newborn child as pagrls as evs hardened sinner, the seriousness of original sin, the only sin that can seroent exist in the child, is mirrored in the price paid to cleanse him from it: The outlook darkened and theology shifted.

That quibble was quickly forgotten, however when I became enthralled with the actual thesis of the book. We are experiencing technical difficulties. It is curious that Pagels does not mention this passage from Augustine. Sep 19, Pages Buy. I encounter from time to time people, good souls usually, who try to convince me to be born again.

And that the general Christian public remains as ignorant of the deception as did their fifth century brethren. And those few words in this case are the early chapters of Genesis. They therefore sometimes used language that sounds compatible with Pelagianism. 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.


Many Christians as well as pagans, he noted regretfully, responded only to fear. Ada, with all books about early Christianity, I found myself in much closer agreement with the heretics.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

Freedom from the law is neither for Paul nor for the early church an escape into a self-creating autonomy, as Pagels thinks. I love Elaine Pagels who combines excellent scholarship with the ability to write articulately and clearly for non-scholars without dumbing things down. Finally, with the power of the Church and Empire behind him, Augustine decided that not rhe non-Christians, but also Christians who did not abide by his dogmas should be repressed. The book has some problems in that the beginning is repetitive in a couple of places–something I think Pagel’s editor might have wanted to help her with.

Jan 28, Mariana rated it it was amazing. When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity?

Just as an example, though, of what women have been putting up with for millennia: But the truth is just the opposite. If this area of study was more appealing, I would have enjoyed this work more. All in all a fascinating, well-researched and documented book, one that will make the reader look very closely at Christian history with a greater understanding of the complex intertwining of politics and theology that make up church history.

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

Her works show the canonical and non-canonical early religious texts to be human quests for the divine and the ineffable very much like my own spiritual questions and reflections and to not only be human endeavors, but by virtue o Ms. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Return to Book Page. It was also becoming clear that while the vision of Revelation might some day become real, it wasn’t going to happen in the immediately foreseeable future. I could not get straight through it in one go, but needed a fiction interlude before returning to finish.


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

The Fall in Genesis 3 came to be perceived as dooming man to loss of free will. This is another book that’s haunted my shelves for about a couple decades, so the time to read it finally came. Is human nature mostly good or mostly bad?

Has she read the Bible, or does she just get her quotes from an internet Bible search using a few key words? Bishops were now powerful people. During the course of her investigations, Pagels became fascinated with the extraordinary influence this tale has had on rve culture.

Aug 18, Robert Mitchell rated it really liked it. Like sick people need to take their medicine i. Account Options Sign in. Originally labeled heretical by the Pope, Augustine’s reading of Genesis was later lobbied not only into acceptance but dominance that is so long-standing, so pervasive that we automatically take it for granted. The Politics of Paradise.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

For moral self-restraint is common to all human beings who have chosen it. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.

Paperbackpages. When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity?

The first chapter is kind of foundational talking about Jesus and Paul and first century Judaism. Her basic adaj is therefore a house built on shifting sands. Pagels sees Christian virginity and the freedom it brings as an escape from obligation and a form of proto-feminism, an early escape from biological destiny.

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