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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Nov 27, Nikki rated it liked it. Pagels unpeels this onio The Book of Genesis is only 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. Account Options Efe in. Oct 05, Pages.

The clearest example is the Trinitarian controversy. Almost invariably, controversies and heresies have been the catalyst for the clarification and definition of doctrine. Like most of her books, except her doctoral dissertation, this pageels, while confined to the first centuries of the Church, deals with matters which, while ancient, are still relevant.

If government is necessary, it should be eeve for the good both of the governed and of the governors. What Pagels seems to mean by self-government, although she has apparently not thought it out, is a utopian self-creation of human nature such as in Marxist revolution which often ends in the most tyrannous deprivations of liberty and seerpent.

There are undoubtedly differences of emphasis among the various Epistles attributed to Paul. Pagels performs this service for the peculiarly Catholic practices of consecrated virginity and celibacy.

She also told how the Gnostics, though far from united in their beliefs, practiced and preached a far more esoteric Christianity than that of the Church; and how the Church suppressed and destroyed the Gnostic writings. Pagels is fluent in original documents so we hear the debates translated into English, of course in almost daunting detail.


Apparently, like earlier Talmudic scholars, the gnostics saw little usefulness in S If you’re new to Pagels I would suggest that you start not here but with The Gnostic Gospels. Touchstone is published by All content The Fellowship of St.

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

Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down segpent us. Pagels Limited preview – My library Help Advanced Book Search. I liked how she links religion and poltics and calls Jesus a political protestor–very interesting. Some of the quotes are pretty amusing and bizarre–especially the one about Adam’s sin being perpetuated via semen–LOL! Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: It may be that Augustine and ssrpent supporters have a great deal to answer for.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

Augustine had to advance the eventually codified doctrine of Original Sin. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. The mission of the journal and its publisher, The Fellowship of St. A doubtful hypothesis, that the letters attributed to Paul were written by more than one person, becomes the foundation for a very dubious hypothesis, that the presumed authors contradict one another on the matter of family life, which becomes the foundation for her own argument about the earliest conceptions of Christian freedom.

Gnostic Gospels was a textbook for a class, and I read many of her articles about the Nag Hammadi texts, etc. Account Options Sign in. Her book is continuously rewarding and illuminating.

According to Pagels “the whole point of the story serppent Adam, most Christians assumed, was to warn everyone who heard it not to misuse that divinely given capacity for free choice.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: The Touchstone Archives

Aug 18, Robert Mitchell rated it really liked it. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for Christian life. Nov 03, lp rated it liked it. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. It was not until Nestorius denied the true humanity and the true divinity that the hypostatic union was defined. The documents found in Egypt had obviously been hidden there to preserve them from destruction.


Another interesting point is how faulty Augustine’s reasoning behind “Original Sin” are, especially when compared with modern scientific understanding. It was an in-depth exploration into how the various interpretations of that more ancient story during the earliest days of the Christian Church came to eventually define the Church’s stance on sexual morality and it’s long and disturbing history of equating sexuality with sin.

Then, her conclusion is boiled down into one fairly simple point, which she immediately says might not be the reason that this morality has persisted for over years, this is her best educated thought on the subject.

During the course of her investigations, Pagels became fascinated with the extraordinary influence this tale has had on western culture. Any scholarly author who has ever tried to do that will recognize the brilliance of her achievement. It seems, anyone can find support for anything in the Bible and that was more true before the “orthodox” church around a.

This book explores the history and theology of Christianity from it’s inception to the time of Augustine. The writers, unaware of the later debates, did not frame their language with an eye to definitions that words only later received. Apr 11, Martin rated it liked it. Refresh and try again. Jun 04, Taylor Storey rated it really liked it.

The earliest Fathers did not have to confront Pelagianism.