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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When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? I permit no woman to teach or serpwnt have authority over men; she is to keep silent. It is not clear that he, personally, believed, but he had considerable political and practical reasons and justifications for his policy. It is frustrating to read, because the realization comes that so much of this discussion and infighting formed ideologies that are clung to today, thousands of years later.

Jan 19, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: My library Help Advanced Book Search. The organization of this book is well done, as each chapter contributes to the development of the larger themes and yet each chapter can be taken out of the context of its own and read by itself. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Both Pagel’s interpretation and prose are compelling and I cannot recommend her or this book highly enough.

Eventually, Constantine “converted” and made Christianity the official religion of the Empire. Basically it is a history of the development of Christian morality in the first four centuries of the Christian Church which is still being taught in many churches today. Serrpent Dane Designer Men’s Fashion.

Although there is still dispute about how many are forgeries, most scholars agree that Paul wrote only eight of pageld thirteen letters attributed to him in the New Testament. They believed that certain natural “evils,” like death and pain, were inherent to the created order, but that individual “evils,” like murder and adultery, were entirely of our eeve volition.

It is interesting to see the work and the mendacity that went into the establishment of many of these doctrinal questions associated with human freedom and sexuality.


A fascinating look at early Christianity and the nuanced ways that the story of the Fall has influenced theological debates avam centuries and continues to influence much that we take for granted about underlying theological assumptions today. Please try again later.

Augustine went even further and insisted that sexuality was a reflection of original sin and that passion or as Augustine would have put it, “the sin of lust” was a sign of how the sin of Adam and Eve continued to be conveyed to each succeeding generation.

As the numbers grew, so did its influence. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. How can people govern themselves if they’re innately sinful? 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.

Augustine’s opponents, the Pelagians were probably more rational and provide a aerpent that is more consistent not only with Bibilical scholarship, but also more intellectually honest.

It is not thw readable unless you are mildly familiar with the names of seerpent fathers and some academic biblical studies. Feb 11, dan added it Recommended to dan by: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity. Pagels No preview available – This book is therefore a continuation of the line of inquiry that she took in The Gnostic Gospels.

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary. Thus what Pagels presents in chapter 5 as an almost monolithic foil for Augustine’s reading of Genesis is actually tied to pre-Augustinian readings of Genesis by two slender threads widely separated in the course of the first four chapters, and these are addam only summarily.

Pagels draws the term autexousia seemingly at random from an unspecified text in Clement p.

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In particular she argues that Augustine’s reading of this text was such an idiosyncratic and radical break with Christian precedent that it amounted to a dismissal of more anc three hundred years of unanimous ee. And also some who were considered heretics. Because nature was sinful it played towards mankind’s need for more government, a view which previously was alien to christian ideas.


You’ve got to read it if only to get the bizarre rationale that St. Jun 04, Taylor Storey rated it really liked it. Augustine also misinterpreted some of Paul’s writings.

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James Calendar of the Christian Year Order today! Yet as Augustine grew older he argued that even the most saintly ascetic was not, in himself, capable of self-mastery; that all humankind was fallen and that the human will was incorrigibly corrupt. Subscribe elaind Touchstone today for full online access.

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

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. As part of the government, and the Patriarch of Constantinople was to be, in effect, the imperial minister of state for religion, believers were inevitably co-opted into and made part of the corruption they had always seen in the world around them. I was especially impressed by Pagels’ elaone of Augustine — she’s clearly not a big fan — and the time and care that she spent investigating his influence on Christian thought from then until now.

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 elains take it for granted.

See all books by Elaine Pagels. If I were to make any critiques, it would be that she all but ignores the church’s split between the Greek East and the Latin West, which — although still informal at the time of Augustine — was far more important in understanding why Eastern fathers like John Chrysostom differed so strongly from Augustine on issues like human nature than Pagels gives it credit for.

Christians Against the Roman Order. Strictly speaking, the adjectives “perversion” and “unnatural” could be most readily applied to the beliefs advocated successfully by the author of “City of God” than the most debased libertine.