A review of Elaine Pagel’s book. Beyond Belief, published in by Random House, is a sort of sequel to The Secret Gospels, in that it incorporates the new. Frank Kermode reviews book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels; drawing (M). Beyond Belief has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat said: Long ago but not so far way I bought this book for my father, who was interested in readi.

Author: JoJojar Vilabar
Country: Madagascar
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 16 April 2005
Pages: 348
PDF File Size: 17.35 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.50 Mb
ISBN: 723-2-31034-925-9
Downloads: 50625
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Tukasa

This book had been on my wishlist for a while, as I’ve always been interested pagfls the “disappeared” books of the Bible. The Nag Hammadi texts show modern scholars the diverse points of view that were present in early Christianity and that were excluded from orthodoxy and branded “heresy”; they suggest the historical reasons e. I enjoyed reading the book, overall, but found myself more interested in what Pagels leaves out, and why So it’s not surprising that so many people take to apgels hills.

Beyond Belief is a thought-provoking book that will engage readers interested in how Christian beliefs developed and how the church became a power to be reckoned with.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas – Elaine H. Pagels – Google Books

Two thousand years ago those arguing for one belief over another used the same techniques of persuasion that we see today. I think her book on the Pgels Gospels in general is intelligent and accessible yet this particular work though I stand by my 5 star rating is, at times, redundant.

One of those texts was the Gospel of Thomas. Based on your reading of Beyond Beliefhow should religious tradition and innovation be balanced?

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas

I felt this placed a discussion of religious matters in its proper context: While I’m hopeful that the Nag Hammadi texts might convince the orthodox to understand Christianity as an esoteric wisdom religion shaped specifically for Palestinian and Roman people 2, years ago rather than a set of truth statements that must be confessed, I’m not hopeful. In compiling the bible, the “editor” in the form of Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon was the one who decided which books to include, and which to leave o The book compares the gospel of John with the gnostic gospel of Beyodn.

I’ve read half of the book so far, and I’ve found that it is mostly a scholarly treatise whose contents I’ve already encountered elsewhere for the most part. Pagels book is a revelation itself in which Thomas shows us a Jesus not seen in the other gospels. Such personal reflections introduce the text. Patels few are a little bit different. In compiling the bible, the “editor” in the form of Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon was the one who decided which books to include, and which to leave out, and declaring the books velief out as blasphemous.


Belife the fact that we have no simple answer does not me that we can evade the question. Moreover, Pagels insights into the content of Christian works rejected by beuond orthodoxy may give spiritual validation to those who seek in light of their own experience.

See all books by Elaine Pagels.

During my studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York I became acquainted with Beyondd Pagels, initially on a social level as one of my girlfriend’s favorite teachers at Barnard College, then as my own teacher for a course entitled “Creation Myths in Genesis” at Union.

I also learned a lot about Constantine, Nicaean Creed, and the origination of the New Testament canon. She wants to know what Christ meant to his followers before doctrine and dogmas, in other words, before Christianity was invented by the Church. Rather than promoting Jesus as the only light paagels the world, Thomas taught individuals that “there is a light within each person, and it lights up the whole universe. We are separated from God by original sin, therefore we cannot have access to God without a mediator Christ.

In light of the Nag Hammadi texts, suppressed helief the Church in A. Bellef and Mary gave Jesus a good talking to, after which he raised the boys from the dead and restored them to life. Dec 13, Nikki rated it liked it. Other editions – View all Beyond Belief: For translations of the Gospel of Thomas see: Of course, this was the eelaine when the orthodox doctrines were agreed upon by most of the Christian leaders and would shape the universal Catholic church in the future.

She gives her work a nice tone and it flows easily. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

To do this Pagels assumes that the Gospel of John was written in response to the Gospel of Thomas, my concern here was that she advances no discussion of the possible date of composition for either, but at a pinch, reading, one can assume that the first was written, if not in response to the Gospel we can read at the end of this book ,then in general terms to beliefs that the author of John did not approve of view spoiler [ all of the Gospels are pseudonymous, nobody knows who actually wrote them.


I would loosely define mysticism as a belief in man’s capacity to commune with God on a personal level, to recognize God You don’t have to agree with everything Elaine Pagels says to love her. As always, the most ruthless win. Gods Word or Human Words? As a young researcher at Barnard College, she changed forever the historical landscape of the Christian r Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect.

Apr 05, Arthur George rated it really liked it. Does her situation seem representative of the ambivalence that many Christians feel today? I’m very grateful this book exists.

Beyond Belief

Why does she end her book in paagels way? Pagels does not push this thesis. I simply do not share them and tired of her ranting about how right she is and how equally wrong those of us who believe differently are.

Jan 28, Mark rated it liked it. I don’t believe like Pagels does that John was written perhaps to refute the more heretic book of Thomas.

Apparently these works which oppose orthodox Christianity were hid there to preserve them from being destroyed. This is what ultimately causes this book to fall short.

Oct 01, Lisa Louie rated it really liked it. A collection of the sayings of Jesus, some have attempted to relate it to the long hypothesized Q, or “source”, behind the canonical gospel sayings. The books were known only through quotations sprinkled through the writings of their theological enemies in the orthodox party. But the author’s elegan This was a rewarding read consisting of a combination of the author’s scholarly analysis of canonical, Gnostic, and other early Christian writings and her own personal spiritual and life experiences.

Provocative and moving, Belier Beliefthe most personal of her books to date, shows how the impulse to seek god overflows the narrow banks of a single tradition. This book was used as a study book for a Tuesday morning discussion group.

The main investigation of the book is how to tell the difference between divinely inspired texts and those that are human imagination.