Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation
In this startling and timely book, Pagels returns The Book of Revelation to its historical origin, written as its author John of Patmos took aim at the Roman Empire after what is now known as “the Jewish War,” in 66 CE. Militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple. Pagels persuasively interprets Revelation as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome. Soon after, however, a new sect known as “Christians” seized on John’s text as a weapon against heresy and infidels of all kinds—Jews, even Christians who dissented from their increasingly rigid doctrines and hierarchies. In a time when global religious violence surges, Revelations explores how often those in power throughout history have sought to force “God’s enemies” to submit or be killed. It is sure to appeal to Pagels’s committed readers and bring her a whole new audience who want to understand the roots of dissent, violence, and division in the world’s religions, and to appreciate the lasting appeal of this extraordinary text.
(Source: Viking Books)
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
When the Gospel of Judas was published by the National Geographic Society in April 2006, it received extraordinary media attention and was immediately herladed as a major biblical discovery that rocked the world of scholars and laypeople alike. Elaine Pagels and Karen King are the first celebrated scholars to reflect on this newfound text and its ramifications for telling the story of early Christianity. In Reading Judas, they illustrate how the newly discovered text provides a window onto understanding how Jesus' followers understood his death, why Judas betrayed Jesus, and why God allowed it. Presented with the elegance, insight, and accessibility that has made Pagels and King the leading voices in this field, this is a book for academics and popular audiences alike. A New York Times bestseller by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King.
(Source: Viking Books)
Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
Beyond Belief explores how Christianity began by tracing its earliest texts, rediscovered in Egypt in 1945. The astonishing discovery of the Gospel of Thomas shows how Christian leaders chose to include some gospels and exclude others from the collection we have come to know as the New Testament. Drawing on her own scholarship and that of an international group of scholars, Pagels shows that traditions embodied in Judaism and Christianity can powerfully affect us in the heart, mind, and spirit. Provocative, beautifully written, and moving, Beyond Belief, the most personal of Pagels's books to date, shows how "the impulse to seek God overflows the narrow banks of a single tradition."
(Source: back cover, Random House)
The Gnostic Gospels
The Gnostic Gospel is a provocative study of the gnostic gospels and the world of early Christianity as revealed through the Nag Hammadi texts.
The Origin of Satan
The Origin of Satan is a study of the role of the devil in biblical and modern times theorizes that dissident social groups that resisted Christianity, such as pagans and Jews, were typically portrayed as demons and therefore established as threats.
Adam, Eve, and the Serpent
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. Elaine Pagels examines how the founders of the Christian church permanently revolutionized the meaning of sexuality.
The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters
In this landmark work, Elaine Pagels demonstrates how evidence of gnostic sources may challenge the long-established assumption that Paul writes his letters to combat "gnostic opponents" and to repudiate their claims to secret wisdom. It demonstrates how gnostic writers not only failed to grasp the whole point of Paul's writings, but dared to claim his letters as a primary source for their anthropology, Christology and sacramental theology.