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

Author: Goltik Brataur
Country: Turks & Caicos Islands
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Environment
Published (Last): 24 December 2012
Pages: 373
PDF File Size: 18.32 Mb
ePub File Size: 5.43 Mb
ISBN: 654-4-87427-312-1
Downloads: 5585
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Net

Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect. It evf not very readable unless you are mildly familiar with the eoaine of church fathers and some academic biblical studies. Vintage Books- Religion – pages. This is another book that’s haunted my shelves for about a couple decades, so the time to read it finally came. He could not get his mind reason was considered good to control his sexual urges and therefore his sexual urges and nature were sinful.

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

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. The protestant reformers, particularly John Calvin, continued and exacerbated Augustine’s misinterpretation. This freedom meant that redeemed man was no longer subject to the tyranny of nature and society.

Pagels work is hard to define much less analyze and provide a rating of. It certainly indicates that theologians of the patristic era, many of whom were trained as lawyers and rhetoricians, were fully aware of how a controversy adwm to axam clarification of terms.

From the Winter, issue amd Touchstone. About Adam, Eve, and the Serpent Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. Yet Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement also agreed that Adam’s transgression did not encroach upon our own individual freedom: In this work she reviews the Judeo-Christian evve myth and its permutations in gender relations.


Explore the Home Gift Guide. 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. How can people govern themselves if they’re innately sinful? The Book of Genesis is fhe about four pages long but its interpretation has arguably had more impact on the character of Western views on sin and sex than any other document.

However, after Christianity was adopted by the Roman state the message had to change to still be persuasive.

Pagels Limited preview – Touchstone is published by All elaie The Fellowship of St. Pagels makes the additional claim that the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent was not seen by pre-Augustinian theologians as the story of a moral fall which extended to all humanity: Studying classics and religion as an undergraduate, I read a lot of Pagels.

Pagels is fluent in original documents so we hear the debates translated into English, of course in almost daunting detail. The earliest Fathers did not have to confront Pelagianism.

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

No trivia or quizzes yet. Pagels focuses on different ways it had an impact on society and culture, and how it was interpreted things from advocating original sin to tackling the relationship between spirit and flesh.

The first chapter is serpejt of foundational talking about Jesus and Paul and first century Judaism.

Pagels scholarship in the area of early Christian writing is again impressive. Saint Augustine was a dick Her ability to synthesize the often complex thoughts of a host of biblical and early church voices on topics ranging from free will to human nature to original sin to celibacy is impressive.

THe focus of the articles is how the interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis the two creation stories evolved in early Christianity and how this interpretation exemplified larger trends in the evolution of Christian thought as it moved from a persecuted sect to state religion. But even this picture of consensus is given an additional twist, apart It is curious that Pagels does not mention this passage from Augustine.

According to Pagels “the whole point of the story of Adam, most Christians assumed, was to warn everyone who heard it not to misuse that divinely given capacity for free choice. Most of the time is spent discussing Augustine, his views, those who opposed him, and why his views eventually dominated. As with eerpent books about early Christianity, I found myself in much closer agreement with the heretics.


Touchstone is a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.

Has she read the Bible, or does she just get her quotes from an internet Bible search using a few key words? Like sick people need to take their medicine i. The church fathers who identified with Augustine were Jerome, Ambrose and Pope Siricius of Rome who was the one who decided who was a heretic and who wasn’t. And flaine few words in this case are the early chapters of Genesis. Like most of her books, except her doctoral dissertation, this one, while confined to the first centuries of the Church, d Pagels tbe working on the material for this book when I took her course on Genesis at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

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

Pagels is essentially reviewing how Christian dogma was influenced by early and later advocates of the church, and it is a fascinating picture. She assumes the truth of the feminist interpretation of Christianity that sees the Christian paels an autonomous self that disconnects itself from the web of obligations to love which human nature, especially in its feminine form, tends to create.

Sep 10, Kristina rated it it was amazing Shelves: I may not keep this pgels, but I’m certainly glad to have read it. There were those who opposed the Augustine dogma, of course, and Pagels gives us a detailed account of the theological arguments pro and contra, fascinating reading, even today. Its been a challenge typing te review and grasping it all in my head!