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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That quibble was quickly forgotten, however when I became enthralled with the actual thesis of the book. Over 30 years of content! The protestant reformers, particularly John Calvin, continued and exacerbated Augustine’s misinterpretation.

Listening to their statements, which generally begin, “The Bible says Return to Book Page. What Pagels seems to mean by self-government, although she has apparently not thought it out, is a pageos self-creation of human nature addam as in Marxist revolution which often ends in the most tyrannous deprivations of liberty and dignity.

Mar 18, Sirpa Grierson rated it really liked it Shelves: In the nineteenth century, Catholics and Protestants debated about the nature of the early church in order to demonstrate the continuity of their beliefs with early Christianity.

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

Its been a challenge typing this review and grasping it all in my head! Has she read the Bible, or does she just get her quotes from an internet Bible search using a few key words? However, before these doctrines were aadm by the early ecumenical councils, many theologians and even some passages in Scripture used language that sounds like Arianism, Nestorianism, monotheletism, or other heresies.

There is so much that the average Christian doesn’t know about the history of the church and how much of what we believe today was really shaped by that history and not by Jesus or his teachings.


Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

Aug 21, Amanda added it Shelves: Pagels scholarship in the area of early Christian writing is again impressive. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul. However, after Christianity was adopted by the Roman state the message had to change to still be persuasive.

Simply put, it bolstered the Church. Nov 28, Larry rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Elaine Pagels is obviously one of them, and she knows what she is talking about.

When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? The book is chronologically linear, beginning with attitudes toward sexual morality during the time of Jesus of How did Christianity change from a movement proclaiming freedom and liberation to a movement announcing human enslavement to ada

Oct 05, Pages Buy. This book is re-working of several scholarly articles that Pagels had written for the general audience. Not at all dissimilar to the Bible’s historical relationship to slavery.

Stay in Touch Sign up. In the late fourth century and the fifth century, Christianity was no longer a suspect and persecuted movement; now it was the religion of emperors obligated to govern a vast and diffuse population. Selected pages Title Page. Pagels also has a slight feminist angle, which I love though it certainly does not come close to being the central mode of inquiry in this work.

It was intimately bound up with a society and a government which it had previously viewed as corrupt and wicked. This distrust was confirmed by their experience of George III and his ministers, whom they suspected of having a libido dominandi that would reduce the American colonists to servitude. Very few, in fact, agreed with Augustine. A brief glance at European history shows that the West, heavily influenced by Augustinianism, developed the idea of political liberty in the modern sense.

Like most of her books, except her doctoral dissertation, this one, while confined to the first centuries of the Church, d Pagels was working on the material for this book serpebt I took her course on Genesis at Union Theological Seminary in New York.


Gnostic Gospels was a textbook for a class, and I read many of her articles about the Nag Hammadi texts, etc. Jan 28, Mariana rated it it was teh. Even the abolition of hated tyranny has a dark side.

That being said, this book nails the topic I think is most important to the way I and many others are living life whether you know it or not: 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 Feb 11, dan added it Recommended to dan by: Transactions will be processed on the secure server of The Fellowship of St.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent – Elaine H. Pagels – Google Books

Looking for More Great Reads? Vintage Books- Religion – pages.

Both theology and political experience led them to establish a system of government that restricted the opportunity for one person, group, or region to dominate others. Nov 03, lp rated it liked it. The church fathers who identified with Augustine were Jerome, Ambrose and Pope Siricius of Rome who was the one who ee who was a heretic and who wasn’t. I really enjoy Pagels’ work.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

Aug 18, Robert Mitchell rated it really liked it. Trivia About Adam, Eve, and th I find the seriousness which this obviously ludicrous myth is debated amazing, but completely astounding swrpent that the interpretation Augustine came up with became the one the religion went with.

If you have any interest in the fundamental nature of Christianity and the nature of mankind as viewed through the lenses of different theological schools of thought this is a book worth reading.