Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels
The Secret Gospel of Thomas

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Synopsis

In Beyond Belief, renowned religion scholar Elaine Pagels continues her groundbreaking examination of the earliest Christian texts, arguing for an ongoing assessment of faith and a questioning of religious orthodoxy.

Spurred on by personal tragedy and new scholarship from an international group of researchers, Pagels returns to her investigation of the “secret” Gospel of Thomas, and breathes new life into writings once thought heretical. As she arrives at an ever-deeper conviction in her own faith, Pagels reveals how faith allows for a diversity of interpretations, and that the “rogue” voices of Christianity encourage and sustain “the recognition of the light within us all.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Elaine Pagels

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ELAINE PAGELS is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of Reading Judas, The Gnostic Gospels —winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award—and the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
 
Published May 4, 2004 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Continuing the project she began nearly a quarter-century ago with The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels examines the first-century Gospel of Thomas, discovered with the Nag Hammadi treasury of early Christian writings, with an eye to showing how a given text comes to be sorted into the “heretical” or “can...

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The Guardian

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Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels 241pp, Macmillan, £18.99 In the spring of the year 367, the Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt wrote a famous letter to his flock.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this majestic new book, Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels) ranges panoramically over the history of early Christianity, demonstrating the religion's initial tremendous diversity and its narrowing to include only certain texts supporting certain beliefs.

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Large Print Reviews

In Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas Pagels, best know for her National Book Award-winning The Gnostic Gospels, wrestles with her own faith as she struggles to understand when--and why--Christianity became associated almost exclusively with the ideas codified in the fourth-century Nicene...

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Spirituality & Practice

Pagels outlines the battle between Irenaeus, the principal architect of what is called the four gospel canon (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and those who found meaning and validity in the secret Gospel of Thomas (rediscovered in Egypt in 1945).

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