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.
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Joseph and Mary gave Jesus a good talking to, after which he raised the boys from the dead and restored them to life. Pagels frames the story of the quashing of spiritual interpretations of the meaning of the ministry of Jesus view spoiler [I am picking my words with as much care as I can after beynod mere couple of glasses of an indifferent white wine, I know what Rabelais would advise me to do in this case hide spoiler ] in favour of an Orthodox and Catholic church by the time of Constantine with her experience as a mother living through the death of a son, ellaine church first in crisis, later with her daughter for a Christmas service.
Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels | : Books
Such personal reflections introduce the text. Sep 24, Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing. Pagels’ thesis that the early church was diverse and that the concretization of an orthodoxy under the Empire led to the suppression of many elements, particularly those maintaining a more democratic, bbelief “low”, Christology, is incontestable.
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 bbeyond confessed, I’m not hopeful. Also by Elaine Pagels. That said, I was troubled by Pagels’ tendency to equate mysticism and gnosticism, and I think this is problematic to her argument.
If you do not velief forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. Her final words are, “What I have come to love in the wealth of our religious traditions–and the communities that sustain them–is that they offer the testimony of innumerable peopleto spiritual discovery.
My main complaint is that very little of the book actually discusses what Thomas’ teachings are. However, those interested in exploring various aspects of spiritualty and perceptions of Jesus would probably find it interesting. Pagels discusses other non-canonical gospels that also incurred the wrath of the orthodox leaders. Nov 03, Milt rated it did not like it. Pagel cites Heracleon who describes the first group as perceiving God as a strict, limited, but well-meaning master and father, who has decreed the death penalty for every one of his children who sins and yet loves them and grieves when they perish.
I read the Gospel of Thomas before coming to this gelief, and I was hoping for some scholarly reflections, but I got very little. Anyway, by Lent Athanasius felt confident enough to indulge in a bit of heretical book banning. Buy the Audiobook Download: Later their parents went round to Joseph and Mary and comp Long ago but not so far way I bought this book for my father, who was interested in reading the Gospel of Thomas. But yeah, Pagel’s seem to suggest Irenaeus depictions here was accurate, and this may be in part why he turned against them so strongly, throwing every vindictive and hateful epithet their heyond.
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Pagels embraces this diversity elains ideas, and spends a great deal of time discussing how the canon of acceptable scripture grew. Jun 25, David rated it really liked it Shelves: The central message of Thomas is that Jesus claims the kingdom of the Father is upon the land and men do not see it, that each has God within pqgels, they only need discover it for themselves and see the world in a new way conveyed by Jesus.
Pagels’ basic conception is of a dynamic, human, environment, and the various oddities of the Gospel attributed to John lend themselves to supporting that view – in other words John’s Gospel is really not much like the three synoptic Gospels which together with John form the Orthodox canon of the New Eblief view spoiler [ although Pagels also points beyodn that the way we read the Gospel of John is enshrined in translation practice and even in contemporary Greek editions – eg the capitalisation of logos which would not have been originally present hide spoiler ].
Thus they encourage those who endeavor, in Jesus words, to “seek, and you shall find. Jan 25, Leila Mota rated it it was amazing. A fascinating read that is ‘healing, good sense, and gives permiss After reading Picoult’s Change of Heart, I was given this book as a Mom’s Day gift. Pagels herself was apparently disillusioned with orthodox Christianity at an early age and asked herself ‘how could people with different beliefs be condemned to hell?
Naturally, this may be off-putting to those who prefer to focus on traditional perspectives of the Bible.
What this book is concerned with mostly is the internecine war for dominance between the proponents of the Gospel of John and the proponents of every other Gospel. Pagels seems to be attempting to say there was a better form of Christianity that was destroyed by the dogmatic catholics, which is what most of the book is about.
It’s sort of an unobtrusive evangelism for unorthodox Christianity, a plea for the kind of “religious truth” that can never hide behind a stale set of doctrine. For centuries scholars wondered what was in these heretical books, which they dubbed Gnostic, because it was believed they claimed to promote a secret spiritual knowledge available only to the elect. There was not as much detail about the Gospel of Thomas as I had expected.
When her infant son was diagnosed with fatal pulmonary hypertension, Pagels’ spiritual and intellectual quest took on a new urgency, leading her to explore historical and archaeological sources and to investigate what Jesus and his teachings meant to his followers before the invention of Christianity.
Both follow a similar timeline – different from Matthew, Mark and Luke. I don’t believe like Pagels does that John was written perhaps to refute the more heretic book of Thomas. Please try again later.