Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. Elaine Pagels. Reviewed by Frank Thomas Smith. In The Gnostic Gospels, reviewed in Number 2 of Southern Cross Review. In Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels traces the interpretation of Genesis from the Second Temple period through Augustine’s battles with the Pelagians. “How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of all humanity?.

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. This book had some interesting points, particularly when discussing the gnostic gospels. Oct 11, The rated it really liked it. She quotes a verse and makes a ths out of it that would be contradicted if she took the time to read a verse or two before or after. The story of Adam and Eve, and the Serpent was written down about 3, years ago and probably told for many generations before that. The mission of the journal and its publisher, The Fellowship of St.

James website, the publisher of Touchstone. However, before these doctrines were defined by the early ecumenical councils, many theologians and even some passages in Scripture used language that sounds like Arianism, Nestorianism, monotheletism, or other heresies.

Simply put, it bolstered the Church. Apr 11, Martin rated it liked it. She’s a good writer and I wish she would attack alllllll Old Testament stories in this way. As time went on, it attracted the notice of the authorities who frequently persecuted its members.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

I was surprised to learn how little free will Augus A fascinating look at early Christianity and the nuanced ways that the story of the Fall has influenced theological debates for centuries and continues to influence much that we take for granted about underlying theological assumptions today.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: I could not get straight through it in one go, but needed a fiction interlude before returning to finish. These differences may be largely explained by the circumstances in which the Epistles were written. Ajd time went on, the membership of the Christian sect grew. What happened had profound implications for Christianity pagelx Western culture and in this book Elaine Pagels does a fantastic job of answering those questions.


And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul. Christians were not duped by a Roman Church intent on tyrannizing them, nor were they misogynists intent on restricting the freedom of women.

Especially, in sdam women found freedom from the demands of family life. Even those who think of Genesis only as literature, and those who are not Christian, live in a culture indelibly shaped by such interpretations as these.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. This is a history one should understand before committing to the creed that derives from it.

When did this idea come about that sex is inherently sinful? In the end, Pagels states it flat out: In this work she reviews the Judeo-Christian ghe myth and its permutations in gender relations.

Jul 19, Clark rated it it was amazing.

But what others see as a danger and an aberration Pagels sees as the essence of the Gospel. What Pagels seems to mean by self-government, although she has hhe not thought it out, is a utopian self-creation of human nature such as in Marxist revolution which often ends in the most tyrannous deprivations of liberty and dignity.

Pagels also has a slight feminist angle, which I love though it certainly does not come close to being the central mode of inquiry in this work.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: The Touchstone Archives

For what Augustine says, in simplest terms, is this: Common terms and phrases Adam and Eve Adam’s agreed Apology ascetic Augustine Augustine’s baptism believed bishop called celibacy celibate centuries Chris Christ Christian movement church claim Clement Clement of Alexandria contemporaries Apgels creation death demons discussion divine divorce Early Christianity earth emperor Emphasis added evil Exegesis experience father followers G.

Human beings are incapable of self rule, not in any genuinely good way. So it’s really fun to really dissect it fhe trace it’s effect on everything that followed. How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? View all 4 comments.


Oct 05, Pages Buy. However, she simply assumes these contradictions, and does not bother to prove they really exist in the Pauline Epistles. Biology is no longer destiny. After the passions of debate died down, the vast majority of Christians accepted the formulations of the dogmas of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us. Augustine manipulated the Genesis text to say that we are and the Catholic Church adopted his interpretation as a means of controlling people.

Christian freedom is the assumption of a yoke more demanding, but at the same time, through grace, far sweeter than the law of Moses: Over the years, almost every interpretation imaginable was offered by learned theologists, some of which were very reasonable. Heather book in Mansfield, OH.

Touchstone is a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, with editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. Without her expert unfolding, clear understanding of who we are religiously, morally, culturally and sexually is much more difficult if not impossible.

Obvious and subtle manipulations of Holy Scripture. Initially, it was a small, esoteric sect, an outgrowth of the Jewish faith.

Almost invariably, controversies and heresies have been the catalyst for the clarification and definition of doctrine. Paperbackpages. Her findings were published in the bestselling book, The Gnostic Gospels, an analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts that were unearthed in Egypt.

The Book of Genesis is only about four pages long but its interpretation has arguably had more impact on the character of Western views on sin and sex than any other document.