Why Religion?: A Personal Story

Why Religion?: A Personal Story

Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions. These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealin Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Why Religion?: A Personal Story
Author:Elaine Pagels
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:Why Religion?: A Personal Story
ISBN
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:256 pages pages

Why Religion?: A Personal Story Reviews

  • Charlene
    Dec 11, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

  • Socraticgadfly
    Feb 22, 2019

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

    I vaguely knew that Elaine Pagels has had a very difficult life, but I never realized how difficult until seeing it described in the first 150 pages of this book. Raised by a quiet but explosive father and an emotionally remote mother, she lost a very close friend (possibly her boyfrie...

    I've loved Elaine Pagels since some brilliant college professor (whose name I've forgotten) assigned The Gnostic Gospels: A Startling Account of the Meaning of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity Based on Gnostic Gospels and Other Secret Texts to my class. I was pretty atheist -- no, ...

    I really like Pagels and reading her account of the deaths of her child and husband in quick succession is anguishing. She tells her life story in a placid, almost prim reportorial style that belies the impressive breadth of her accomplishments and the titanic depths of existential que...

    This is another of those split review ratings. The book gets 5 stars as a mini-biography of Pagels and 3 stars for her interpretation of Gnostic literature and alleged Gnostic ideas in and influences on the New Testament. Here, she most struggles with the Eucharist and the crucif...

  • Clif Hostetler
    Nov 16, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

  • Mary
    Dec 09, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

    I vaguely knew that Elaine Pagels has had a very difficult life, but I never realized how difficult until seeing it described in the first 150 pages of this book. Raised by a quiet but explosive father and an emotionally remote mother, she lost a very close friend (possibly her boyfrie...

    I've loved Elaine Pagels since some brilliant college professor (whose name I've forgotten) assigned The Gnostic Gospels: A Startling Account of the Meaning of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity Based on Gnostic Gospels and Other Secret Texts to my class. I was pretty atheist -- no, ...

    I really like Pagels and reading her account of the deaths of her child and husband in quick succession is anguishing. She tells her life story in a placid, almost prim reportorial style that belies the impressive breadth of her accomplishments and the titanic depths of existential que...

    This is another of those split review ratings. The book gets 5 stars as a mini-biography of Pagels and 3 stars for her interpretation of Gnostic literature and alleged Gnostic ideas in and influences on the New Testament. Here, she most struggles with the Eucharist and the crucif...

    Since I discovered Dr. Elaine Pagels, I have regarded her as a role model based on her academic work as I came to appreciate it through her books. But this book is different. It is intensely personal. She shares the nightmares of she and her husband suffering through the death of their...

  • Jon
    Mar 12, 2019

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

    I vaguely knew that Elaine Pagels has had a very difficult life, but I never realized how difficult until seeing it described in the first 150 pages of this book. Raised by a quiet but explosive father and an emotionally remote mother, she lost a very close friend (possibly her boyfrie...

  • Mehrsa
    Dec 22, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

  • Danielle
    Aug 14, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

  • Michael Austin
    Dec 19, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

  • Ron Charles
    Nov 06, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

  • Donna
    Jan 17, 2019

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

  • B. Rule
    Nov 19, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

    I vaguely knew that Elaine Pagels has had a very difficult life, but I never realized how difficult until seeing it described in the first 150 pages of this book. Raised by a quiet but explosive father and an emotionally remote mother, she lost a very close friend (possibly her boyfrie...

    I've loved Elaine Pagels since some brilliant college professor (whose name I've forgotten) assigned The Gnostic Gospels: A Startling Account of the Meaning of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity Based on Gnostic Gospels and Other Secret Texts to my class. I was pretty atheist -- no, ...

    I really like Pagels and reading her account of the deaths of her child and husband in quick succession is anguishing. She tells her life story in a placid, almost prim reportorial style that belies the impressive breadth of her accomplishments and the titanic depths of existential que...

  • Canadian
    Dec 22, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

  • Mary Novaria
    Nov 23, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

  • Sam
    Dec 12, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

  • Libby
    Dec 15, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

  • Jo
    Dec 15, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

  • Deyanne
    Dec 20, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

  • Holly
    Dec 20, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

  • Rebecca
    Sep 16, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

  • Megan Tristao
    Dec 11, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

  • Charles
    Nov 07, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

  • Age
    Dec 16, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

  • Robin Kirk
    Nov 26, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

    I vaguely knew that Elaine Pagels has had a very difficult life, but I never realized how difficult until seeing it described in the first 150 pages of this book. Raised by a quiet but explosive father and an emotionally remote mother, she lost a very close friend (possibly her boyfrie...

    I've loved Elaine Pagels since some brilliant college professor (whose name I've forgotten) assigned The Gnostic Gospels: A Startling Account of the Meaning of Jesus and the Origin of Christianity Based on Gnostic Gospels and Other Secret Texts to my class. I was pretty atheist -- no, ...

  • Jennifer Kepesh
    Dec 10, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Nov 18, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

  • Victor Smith
    Feb 13, 2019

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

    I will expand on my review later. One of the best memoirs I've read in a long time, in part because it is half memoir and half cultural/religion history on how the biblical myths/stories so deeply embedded in our Western culture whether we are Christian or not affect how we experienc...

    ?The work of culture is to make suffering sufferable.? --Clifford Geertz Elaine Pagels invokes this quotation from noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz in perhaps the most painful part of the book--a description of her attempt to go on living after her six-year-old son, Mark, d...

    I?ve been long familiar with and deeply impressed by the ground-breaking research and writing of Dr. Elaine Pagels in the realm of traditional and apocryphal biblical translation and interpretation. Her approach to religion and spirituality infused my own writing, which include the r...

  • Eilonwy
    Dec 12, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

  • Paul Womack
    Nov 15, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

  • Jane Ginter
    Dec 20, 2018

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    (3.5) Pagels is a religion scholar best known for her work on the Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi library, such as the Gospel of Thomas. She grew up in a nonreligious Californian household, but joined a friend?s youth group and answered the altar call at a Billy Graham rally. Alth...

    I've been reading Elaine Pagels since 1990, the summer after my sophomore year in college. I remember stealing little reading breaks while canvassing for Greenpeace in Kansas City. I'd sit on the grass and read 10-20 pages of The Gnostic Gospels, and feminist theologian Carol P. Christ...

    Elaine Pagels is clearly more comfortable addressing her chosen field of study than she is writing about her own personal struggles. While she outlines the horrific tragedies of losing her young son and husband within a year of each other, she never does a deep dive into her agony and ...

    Elaine Pagels is fairly well-known for her writing about early Christianity, especially the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. This memoir doesn?t so much answer the question of ?Why have religion?? as it does the question her not-yet-husband asked her with the two title w...

    You might be put off by the authors focus on her biography in the beginning. It may come off as boomer navel-gazing that may annoy some readers. Be patient. The book gets much better as it goes on it explores some deep philosophical and religious ideas as she goes on with her journey....

    I went back and forth about whether or not I should even assign a star rating to this book, but I don't think I'm going to. What I was expecting was vastly different from what this book offered, and I once read you should review a book based on what it was, and not what you wanted it t...

    This is the first Elaine Pagels book I've read, and I am aware of her other books and general philosophy. For most of the book I struggled with the title "Why Religion" because the book was about tremendous loss in her life with a bit of history of some of the books she'd written. I...

    Although I may not agree with all of Elaine Pagels' beliefs, I completed this book with a deep respect for the author and her probing and questioning mind. Her personal story is told with tenderness, honesty and openness. She has my admiration on many levels. ...

    This short book may have deserved an extra star. I felt I was handicapped by not having read any of her works. Book is both a personal and academic memoir -- Pagels, coming from a non-believing family, is a historian of religion, Harvard educated and one of the experts (and translators...

    A very moving and well written memoir that doesn?t even come close to answering the title question ...

    Elaine Pagels is a well known writer about religion. In this book, which is in many respects a memoir, she examines her own religious life as a jumping off point to look at what purpose religion serves and why people still turn to religion. She examines her own religious experiences, h...

    This book is part memoir and part scholarship. It works mostly and doesn?t work at times. I actually preferred the parts where she goes into her scholarship on ancient scripture and I plan to read her other books. The tragedies of her life make the book real and heartbreaking. I don?...

    Unsurprisingly, I loved Elaine Pagels? book Why Religion? given I?ve loved most of her other works. I will say that as a memoir goes, it is not for everyone. Unfortunately, I think ?memoir? gives people license to critique the book on the basis of how emotive the author is or i...

    Elaine Pagels shares her life's connections with religion beginning with going to a Billy Graham crusade at the age of fifteen; she was "born again" that day. Her father, hating religion, was very angry, believing in Darwinism, and her mother just wanted to keep the peace at home. Page...

    This gentle book combines personal story, theological reflection, and a fine summary of her academic work. The questions she asks are familiar, as are the answers she finds. Her scholarly work has informed my own thinking, although the life experiences which prompted my questions were ...

    I've been a fan of Elaine Pagels ever since I stumbled across The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics a couple of decades ago. It took me years of rereading to really "get" that book, because even though I had been immersed in the Bible for most of my li...

    This is the first of Elaine Pagels books that I've finished. I have bought many of her previous books, which are an academic's explanation of some of the important religious texts (especially ur-texts to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and her area of expertise, the Gnostic Gospels an...

    Enjoyed this book. Couldn?t stop reading it once I started. ...

  • Mεδ Rεδħα
    Jan 03, 2019

    This memoir in addition to be of an account of overcoming personal tragedy, adds the unique dimension of insights of a respected historian of religion. Elaine Pagels is not only knowledgeable of the historical circumstances under which early scriptures were written, she found personal ...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...

    In 1945, two years after Elaine Pagels was born in northern California, an Arab farmer on the other side of the world made a stunning discovery. In a cave near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt, he found a six-foot-long jar containing 52 secret texts. They were gospels in Coptic Egyp...

    A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels?s 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to ?curse God and die.? But she held on. Throu...