The Origin of Satan

( 9 )

Overview

From the religious historian whose The Gnostic Gospels won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award comes a dramatic interpretation of Satan and his role on the Christian tradition. With magisterial learning and the elan of a born storyteller, Pagels turns Satan's story into an audacious exploration of Christianity's shadow side, in which the gospel of love gives way to irrational hatreds that continue to haunt Christians and non-Christians alike. ...
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The Origin of Satan

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Overview

From the religious historian whose The Gnostic Gospels won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award comes a dramatic interpretation of Satan and his role on the Christian tradition. With magisterial learning and the elan of a born storyteller, Pagels turns Satan's story into an audacious exploration of Christianity's shadow side, in which the gospel of love gives way to irrational hatreds that continue to haunt Christians and non-Christians alike.

The bestselling author of The Gnostic Gospels--winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award--and Adam, Eve, and the Serpent has written her most provocative study of early Christianity yet--a profoundly controversial treatise on the true identity of the Devil.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Pagels, whose Gnostic Gospels (LJ 1/15/79) was a best seller and a major award winner, here examines the New Testament tendency to associate the Devil with Jews resistant to the teachings of Christianity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679731184
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: First Vintage Books Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 218,032
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in classical studies at Stanford, and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; The Origin of Satan; and The Gnostic Gospels, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award. She is currently the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Pagels lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and children.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
I The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish War 3
II The Social History of Satan: From the Hebrew Bible to the Gospels 35
III Matthew's Campaign Against the Pharisees: Deploying the Devil 63
IV Luke and John Claim Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens 89
V Satan's Earthly Kingdom: Christians Against Pagans 112
VI The Enemy Within: Demonizing the Heretics 149
Conclusion 179
Notes 185
Index 205
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2007

    Incredibly informative

    As an avid reader of Christian history, I read this book to help me get an understanding of Christianity¿s central enemy. In Pagels¿ book, she gives a detailed explanation of Satan¿s origins from the New Testament, but I admit I did not understand a lot of what she was talking about when she used numerous non-canon texts of Gnosticism. Granted, these texts give a non-standard description of Satan, the average reader would not comprehend what she was talking about when referring to books other than the four canon gospels. I suppose I should have read up on that, considering that Pagels is one of the leading scholars in the Gnostic gospels, to which she devoted an entire book to the subject. My suggestion is to read up on Gnosticism before divulging into The Origin of Satan, or you may get confused when dealing with some of the information in Pagels¿ book. That does not degrade this book in anyway. The information presented is excellent and vastly informative.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2003

    AWESOME BOOK

    Completely illustrates Christianity in such a way that you read the information and draw your own conclusions as to the meaning behind the message. Powerful! I recommend this book to anyone of any faith or lack of becuase the information is so interesting. Simply an AWESOME BOOK!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2001

    Great Scholarship

    A concise examination of the cultural development and presence of the devil's modern image. Great scholarship on Satan's family tree, but the book could delve more deeply into the emotions aroused by him. They, too, effect history. I recommend reading this in conjunction with Pagel's Adam, Eve & the Serpent.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    The satan of illusions

    This exhausting account of Biblical devils puts him behind you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    Very boring.

    Not sure what to think of it. Didn't enlightened me.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2008

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