Winner of the 1979 National Book Critics Circle Award
Synopses & Reviews
A provocative study of the gnostic gospels and the world of early Christianity as revealed through the Nag Hammadi texts.
"[A]n effective introduction to the difficult, almost oxymoronic notion of a Christian Gnosticism. [Professor Pagels] is always readable, always deeply informed, always richly suggestive of pathways her readers may wish to follow out for themselves." Harold Bloom
"The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt." The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
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 the National Book Award. She is currently the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, and she lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and children.
Table of Contents
1. The Controversy over Christ's Resurrection: Historical Event or Symbol?
2. "One God, One Bishop": The Politics of Monotheism
3. God the Father/God the Mother
4. The Passion of Christ and the Persecution of Christians
5. Whose Church Is the "True Church"?
6. Gnosis: Self-Knowledge as Knowledge of God