Jun 15, Frank Kermode reviews book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels; drawing (M). A review of Elaine Pagel’s book. Beyond Belief, published in by Random House, is a sort of sequel to The Secret Gospels, in that it incorporates the new. Jun 24, One person’s hagiography is another’s heresy, observes biblical scholar Pagels, though that hasn’t stopped generations of Christians from.

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So far, I think Pagels’ Gnostic Gospels was a better read. How can the title be interpreted?

The most important of these would seem to be, first, that what the Christ was we can be and, second, that there are many paths to such realization. How convincing is this reading? This is what ultimately causes this book to fall short.

One of those texts was the Gospel of Thomas. She also now sees now a swing back to the spiritual base, with less interest in creeds. For various reasons I’m a cautious and wary person, and so was unkeen, unfamiliar as I was with the Gospel of Thomas, to present my father with this kind of material without some kind of explanatory framework no doubt fearing some outbreak of gnosticism in middle England view spoiler [ not that this could make it any worst hide spoiler ]and so it came to pass after some poking and prodding, that I came across Pagels’ book, thought it looked elaien part, and gave it to the old man.

Elaine Pagels

She gives her work a nice tone and it flows easily. For every woman who byond make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven. Pagels remained fascinated by the power of the New Testament. Or perhaps those who believed that at most only Jesus had at least some element of divinity in his nature view spoiler [and quite how much and in what way, were themselves to become hugely controversial issues hide spoiler ] and those who felt that everyone has sparks of the divine in them – this later was to become an important element in Jewish mystical tradition view spoiler [at times I wonder if the Early Christian church might be most interesting for Jews curious about the archaeology of some of their traditions since there seems to be a fair bit that isn’t attested in writing until centuries later in Jewish writings yet apparently was already current in the diversity of Christian belief in the first couple of centuries AD hide spoiler ].

In light bwlief the Nag Hammadi texts, suppressed by the Church in A.


Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels

This book was used as a study book for a Tuesday morning discussion group. As always, the most ruthless win.

She doesn’t go far, however, in expositing what these other streams bslief thought actually maintained.

Simon Peter said to him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life. Studying early writings helped her see that there was a wide diversity of interpretations in the years following Christ’s death, and the creeds and beliefs statement culminating in the canonization of the books to appear in the Bible during the time of Constantine were a desperate effort to protect the “true faith” from the many groups with what seemed like strange and dangerous interpretations.

Pagels discusses other non-canonical gospels that also incurred the wrath of the orthodox leaders. Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect. During my studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York I became acquainted with Elaine Pagels, initially on a social beyoond as one bbeyond my girlfriend’s favorite teachers at Barnard College, then as my own teacher for a course entitled “Creation Myths in Genesis” at Union.

She argues persuasively that John was written as a direct attack on Thomas. You don’t have to agree with leaine Elaine Pagels beyonf to love her.

Elaine Pagels – Wikipedia

Pagels remains a champion for truth and an asset to people who want to know it, painting a more complete picture of Jesus and the evolution of Christianity. Pagels’ study ebyond the Nag Hammadi manuscripts was the basis for The Gnostic Gospelsa popular introduction to the Nag Hammadi library.

This elaibe can be extended to those people who continue to be seekers today. Reading it with a group this time deepened my understanding. Pagels puts forward to the reader that there were two types of believers in the early church, a distinction that reminded me of Karen Armstrong’s A History of God. What do these passages add to the book?

During the following years I began to reflect on the ways that various religious traditions give shape to the invisible world, and how our imaginative perceptions of what is invisible relate to the ways we respond to the people around For translations of the Gospel of Thomas see: Pagels compares it to the Gospel of John which states that belief in Jesus is the on Like some of Bart Ehrman’s books, Pagels deals extensively with conflicts among early Christian sects and how the Bible ended up being what it is today.

While I enjoyed “Beyond Belief”, both the content and Dr. Recognize that this is …more This is a well-written, accessible book to introduce you to the thesis of alternative Christian traditions in the early church.


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She gives Constantine a pass, without noting the real role he played, the fact that as he lay dying he was baptized by an Arian bishop and not an orthodox bishop, and that the shields beyodn his soldiers during THE pivotal battle to become Emperor may have borne the Cross on one side but ALSO bore the symbol of the Sun god on the other beelief he was hedging his bets.

Pagels has conducted extensive research into Early Christianity and Gnosticism. I think her book on the Gnostic Gospels in general is intelligent and accessible yet this particular work though I stand by my 5 star rating is, at times, redundant. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Feb 09, Minutes. Dec 05, John Martindale rated it liked it Shelves: The programme triggered a national furore, and marked a significant moment in the changes that religious broadcasting was already undergoing at that time.

If it does not shine, there is darkness. I’ve read half of the book so far, and I’ve found that it is mostly a scholarly treatise whose contents I’ve already encountered elsewhere for the most part. According to Beyonr interpretation of an era different from ours, Gnosticism “attracted women because it allowed female participation in sacred rites”.

Modern Library named it as one of the best books of the twentieth century. She married theoretical physicist Pahels Pagels in[12] with whom she had a son and adopted two children. He described the works he wanted to outlaw as empty and poisonous myths that led people astray. 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.

A fascinating read that is ‘healing, good sense, and gives permiss After reading Picoult’s Change of Heart, I was given this book as a Mom’s Day gift. That said, I was troubled by Pagels’ tendency to equate mysticism and gnosticism, and I think this is problematic to her argument.

May 03, Mike rated it it was amazing. I found the book to be a bit uneven, with brilliant expositions on some matters and unimportant digressions on others.

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