×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent
     

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

4.3 6
by Elaine Pagels
 

See All Formats & Editions

Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us.

Overview

Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The disgust felt by early Christians for the flesh was a radical departure from both pagan and Jewish sexual attitudes. In fact, as Princeton professor Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels) demonstrates, the ascetic movement in Christianity met with great resistance in the first four centuries A.D. Sex became fully tainted, inextricably linked to sin under the teachings of Augustine. This troubled sinner invoked Adam and Eve to justify his idiosyncratic view of humanity as permanently scarred by the Fall. Instead of being dismissed as marginal, Augustine's grim outlook took hold, according to Pagels, because it was politically expedient. Now that Christianity had become the imperial religion, Rome wanted its imperfect subjects to obey a strong Christian state. This highly provocative history links the religious roots of Western sexual attitudes to women's inferior status through the centuries. (June)
Library Journal
Pagels explores the development of the ideas of human nature, moral freedom, and sexuality in the four centuries following Christ. Focusing on the various interpretations of the Genesis creation stories, she concludes that early Christians regarded their message to be one of moral freedom and human worth. In the 5th century, Augustine turned the tide with his view of human depravity and original sin (which he linked with sexuality). She argues that his interpretations, implying human incapacity for true political freedom, appealed to the interests of the emerging Christian state and forged the mainstream of ensuing Christian theology. In her analysis, Pagels does not convincingly deal with other foundational biblical material, although she does ably dismantle Augstine's identification of sexuality with original sin. Cynthia Widmer, Williamstown, Mass.
From the Publisher
"A stunning book . . . [that] refreshes our view of early Christianity." —Christian Science Monitor

"[Adam, Eve, and the Serpent] confirms her reputation as both a scholar and a popular interpreter. . . . Her book is continuously rewarding and illuminating." —The New York Times

"This virtuoso study may disquiet some readers and refresh other; the debate it opens is not likely to leave any reader unmoved." —The New Yorker

"Ms. Pagels has taken a complex and seemingly arcane subject and made it fascinating and accessible. . . . Any scholarly author who has ever tried to do that will recognize the brilliance of her achievement."  —Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394521404
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/12/1988
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
224

Meet the Author

Elaine Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of Reading Judas, The Gnostic Gospels-winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award- and the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
JonathankChicago More than 1 year ago
Elain is a skillful writer whose books are well-organized in topics and information presented in logical manner. Most importantly, her "adam, eve and the serpent" is well supported by rich historical records and research findings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago