When her infant son was diagnosed with fatal pulmonary hypertension, award-winning author Elaine Pagels was moved to explore her faith. In Beyond Belief, her spiritual journey becomes a springboard for an intellectual and professional re-examination of early Christian faith. Controversial and thought-provoking, this international bestseller ...Read MoreWhen her infant son was diagnosed with fatal pulmonary hypertension, award-winning author Elaine Pagels was moved to explore her faith. In Beyond Belief, her spiritual journey becomes a springboard for an intellectual and professional re-examination of early Christian faith. Controversial and thought-provoking, this international bestseller investigates the politics of Christianity and how the church crafted a Bible and a faith far more stringent than previously thought. In her search for meaning, Elaine Pagels discovers that the history of the Church and therefore the history of the Western world could have been significantly different. This moving testament to history, faith and humanity, Pagels will challenge and transform everything you know of Christianity. 'Those who are moved by religion but who find that they can no longer accept the official doctrines of their church will find this marvellous book a source of inspiration and hope' Karen Armstrong 'This is writing about religion of the first order: enlightening, intelligent, inclusive and humane' Peter Stanford, IndependentRead Less
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Fine in Fine jacket. Size: 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall; Random House Fine Hardcover with Fine Jacket. Black boards, gilt lettered on spine. Solid, square, sharp corners. Jacket illustrated with funeral portrait, second century C.E., tan, gold and black lettered. Bright, clean and unmarked. Using her own research, Pagels, and that of an international group of scholars, she shows that what matters about Christianity involves much more than any one set of beliefs. Traditions embodied in Judaism and Christianity can powerfully affect us in heart, mind, and spirit. Random House, New York, 2005; 2005, Sixth Printing. 5.75"x8.5" tall; 241pp. Indexed.
VG PB. Profound insights into the nature of God, revelation and what we mean by religious truth as Pagels takes us into the world of. The early Christian texts that were left behind but now are with us and lets us enter afresh into the ancient debates over whether Christianity is better understood as a system of doctrines or a spiritual inquiry into the divine.
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I usually do not find Pagels' books very useful. She is obviously an expert on the fields she writes about, but her books drift around too much. In the present book, relatively little is about the gospel of Thomas. I was looking for more info on how it compares to the canonical gospels, but what I found was ramblings about Christianity. To be fair (?) I have somewhat the same complaint about Karen Armstrong.
Mar 10, 2011
Beyond Belief describes the events and discussions during the apostlic age, particularly the views of the gnostics and their differences with latter accepted cannon. Very interesting, especially if you have no background information on the contents of the scrolls and books found at Nag Hammadi. This is a comfortable, friendly book to read, as it also presents the information from the view of the author's journey into religion.
Apr 16, 2009
I love Elaine's work. She's done all the research for me so I don't have to dig in all those dusty old tomes and piece together history. It's so enlightening to have a more wholistic view of the origins of Christianity as well as an understanding of the political and social structure of that time.
Jun 14, 2007
Pagels does it again !
The fourth of her series is as enlightening as the others. She takes you back in time, before the "church' and illuminates early Christians and Jews, their turmoil, their beliefs, and their strange new fellowship. A must read for anyone seeking answers to their personal spirituality.
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