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eBook Adam, Eve & Serpent download
Spirituality
Author: Elaine Pagels
ISBN: 0517055694
Publisher Random House Value Publishing (October 13, 1990)
Language English
Category: Spirituality
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 309
ePUB size: 1475 kb
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eBook Adam, Eve & Serpent download

by Elaine Pagels


The story of Adam and Eve, and the Serpent was written down about 3,000 years ago and probably told for .

The story of Adam and Eve, and the Serpent was written down about 3,000 years ago and probably told for many generations before that. During the course of her investigations, Pagels became fascinated with the extraordinary influence this tale has had on western culture. Augustine, whose views eventually became dogma, derived many of his ideas from this story: that sexual desire is sinful; that infants are infected from the moment of conception with the disease of original sin; and that Adam’s sin (not to mention Eve’s) corrupted the whole of nature itself.

Elaine Pagels's book, "Adam and Eve and the Serpent" probably is one of the best books to explain how western civilization became totally incapable of understanding nature for at least . .

Elaine Pagels's book, "Adam and Eve and the Serpent" probably is one of the best books to explain how western civilization became totally incapable of understanding nature for at least 1,000 years and how it was only with the rise of the humanists in the Renaissance that western man began the long journey back to the understanding of rational though, nature, freedom and sexuality that was commonplace in the classical period.

Elaine Pagels's book, "Adam and Eve and the Serpent" probably is one of the best books to explain how western civilization became totally incapable of understanding nature for at least 1,000 years and how it was only with the rise of the humanists in the Renaissance that western man began.

The epilogue of Adam, Eve and the Serpent gave us a little of Elaine Pagel's experience. Unfortunately, she found more variety of thought among early Christians than we even find today. It seems, anyone can find support for anything in the Bible and that was more true before the "orthodox" church around 3-400 .

Work Cited: Pagels, Elaine. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.

The ideological influence somehow embodies the umbrella theme of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent in the sense that the issues on religion within the book all boils down to a goal of eventual subscription to Christianity. Predictably, the matter of original sin is at the top of the list, being the turning point of the gist in the first book of the Bible. Work Cited: Pagels, Elaine.

by. Pagels, Elaine . 1943-.

Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library. by.

Pagels, Elaine - Adam, Eve and the Serpent. Adam, Eve And the Serpent. This book explores, among other things, how these Christian interpretations of Genesis emerged in the first four centuries, and how Christians invoked the story of Adam and Eve to justify and establish their beliefs; how they saw their own situations, their sufferings, and their hopes mirrored in the story of the creation and the fall.

Elaine Pagels, née Hiesey (born February 13, 1943), is an American religious historian. In both The Gnostic Gospels and Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels focuses especially on the way that women have been viewed throughout Jewish and Christian history. She is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. In both The Gnostic Gospels and Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels focuses especially on the way that women have been viewed throughout Jewish and Christian history

ISBN13:9780679722328.

Place of Publication. Vintage Books Ed. Content Note. Country of Publication.

Bestselling author Elaine Pagels examines how the founders of the Christian church permanently revolutionized the meaning of sexuality. Random House USA Inc. ISBN-10. Place of Publication. Christianity: Bibles & Liturgy.

Book by Pagels, Elaine
Manemanu
This book nails the topic I think is most important to the way I and many others are living life (whether you know it or not): Is human nature mostly good or mostly bad? It is not very readable unless you are mildly familiar with the names of church fathers and some academic biblical studies. Its been a challenge typing this review and grasping it all in my head!

My only complaints about the book is I wish it was a bit easier to read and I wish it had a bit more connection to Jewish thought on Genesis 1-3/human nature.

In this book Elaine Pagels gives a history of the interpretation of Genesis 1-3 for the first 400-500 years of Christianity. About half the book deals with Augustine's interpretations and the other half is the people he argued against. The first chapter is kind of foundational talking about Jesus and Paul and first century Judaism. Because of Augustine's timing, prominence and support of the Roman empire/the popes of his time his view became the dominant one in western christianity. I would absolutely agree we see the impact of it every day in western culture.

"What Augustine says, in simplest terms, is this: human beings cannot be trusted to govern themselves, because our very nature— indeed, all of nature— has become corrupt as the result of Adam’s sin."

--For those who know me, this is exactly the opposite of my buddy Thoreau and the transcendentalists, for those who don't, now you see my bias :)

According to Pagels, this was also the opposite of the first 300 years of christian interpretation of Genesis 1-3!!

In those opening chapters the first christians saw God blessing humanity with the freedom to self-govern. God blessed humanity with a will that can choose moral freedom, thats what being made in the image of God was about. The emphasis was not on any kind of 'original sin' until 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."

The author claims that 'previous ideology of human freedom' was espoused by Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Gregory of Nyssa, Valentinus, Clement, Origen, Jovinian, Pelagius, John Chrysostom, Julian of Eclanium. There's some pretty big hitters there. And also some who were considered heretics. Lengthy quotes and summaries are provided of each of them. 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). It was better for the pope and for the roman empire if people were considered bad, that way they could justify their desire for more control over people.
Risteacor
Elaine Pagels's book, "Adam and Eve and the Serpent" probably is one of the best books to explain how western civilization became totally incapable of understanding nature for at least 1,000 years and how it was only with the rise of the humanists in the Renaissance that western man began the long journey back to the understanding of rational though, nature, freedom and sexuality that was commonplace in the classical period.

Every great story must have a villain and while some might assume in a work of this nature, dealing with views of freedom and sexuality in the early Christian church, that this would have to be the serpent in the title. However the real villain is none other than Saint Augustine, the towering landmark author of the Confessions and City of God, by his insistence on the doctrine of original sin and his ability to have all of his opponents branded as heretics set in motion a series of doctrinal innovations that have ensured that sexuality and human freedom are viewed with some suspicion if not hostility in the western tradition.

Pagels is an acknowledged expert on the early Christian church and her strength in this book and others is to demonstrate the range and variety of opinions that existed during the period up to the Fifth Century. It is clear in the case of the subject at hand that the "good guys" did not win. Augustine's opponents, the Pelagians were probably more rational and provide a doctrine that is more consistent not only with Bibilical scholarship, but also more intellectually honest. The same is true of Augustine's last opponent, Julian of Eclanum.

Augustine and indeed Saint Jerome (who was not above tampering with the text of the Bible in order to further his belief system) were, as Pagels demonstrates, able to seize the high road in their attempts to create a more highly codified Catholic church due in in large part to the stance that they took on human freedom with differed markedly with the Christian church that existed prior to the conversion of Constantine.

As an outlawed organization with different perspectives on all aspects of doctrine, the church was a recruiting ground for martyrs who went out of their way to achieve martyrdom (other members did not and successfully hid their beliefs, at least officially). This course of setting oneself in opposition to civic authorities, would be in marked contrast to the beliefs that were advocated by Augustine which proved so very useful in promoting and insisting on an orthodoxy that would calcify and impede the western imagination for the next 1,000 years.

Sexuality was a problematic aspect of the Christian tradition, with many, no less than Christ and St Paul taking a dismissive attitude towards it to it. This was because a sexual life was held to distract from matters spiritual. However, marriage and its endorsement by both the founder of Christian and his Apostle did not resolve questions for people longing for a vision of humanity that was devoid of all human experience.

Augustine went even further and insisted that sexuality was a reflection of original sin and that passion or as Augustine would have put it, "the sin of lust" was a sign of how the sin of Adam and Eve continued to be conveyed to each succeeding generation. This was done at conception and that all those people who were conceived through the normal process were somehow infected.

The ideas of Augustine continue to plague modern society and a continuation of these ideas are likely to provide further problems. As was noted by Julian of Eclanum, that man is very much a part of nature and that things that occur in nature are probably the natural order of things. The picture of man as a person eager to obey church authorities, no matter what nonsense they were spouting, who was also eager to be more free by refraining from sexual activity strikes the modern reader as somewhat unnatural and more reflective of the kinks in Augustine's world view. Strictly speaking, the adjectives "perversion" and "unnatural" could be most readily applied to the beliefs advocated successfully by the author of "City of God" than the most debased libertine.

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. Pagels shows just how painful these arguments are framed. Augustine even takes the step of arguing that freedom is slavery (anticipating the dystopian vision of George Orwell in 1984). The relevancy of these positions arrived at before the scientific revolution is therefore questionable. Probably the most backward student in an elementary health class has a better understanding of the mechanics of human sexuality than did the most learned person cited by Pagels. That people would and still do insist on these positions demonstrates both a fear of the true nature of man and an insistence of preserving an intellectually bankrupt approach to central facets of the human condition.

This book should be required reading since it is part of the vast body of work that has enabled the West to overcome the treacheries of its Dark Age past and to move it closer to a humanist vision for society. A humanist is, as a wit once observed, anyone who believes that there is more to life than chastity, dying of plague and being repressed by unscrupulous church authorities. Augustine would surely be horrified by the notion.