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Extended Audio Sample The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,764 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elaine Pagels Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Gnostic Gospels is a landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity, a work of luminous scholarship and wide popular appeal. First published in 1979 to critical acclaim, winning the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Gnostic Gospels has continued to grow in reputation and influence over the past two decades. It is now widely recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible histories of early Christian spirituality published in our time.

In 1945 an Egyptian peasant unearthed what proved to be the Gnostic Gospels, thirteen papyrus volumes that expounded a radically different view of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ from that of the New Testament. In this spellbinding book, renowned religious scholar Elaine Pagels elucidates the mysteries and meanings of these sacred texts both in the world of the first Christians and in the context of Christianity today.

With insight and passion, Pagels explores a remarkable range of recently discovered gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, to show how a variety of “Christianities” emerged at a time of extraordinary spiritual upheaval. Some Christians questioned the need for clergy and church doctrine, and taught that the divine could be discovered through spiritual search. Many others, like Buddhists and Hindus, sought enlightenment — and access to God — within. Such explorations raised questions: Was the resurrection to be understood symbolically and not literally? Was God to be envisioned only in masculine form, or feminine as well? Was martyrdom a necessary — or worthy — expression of faith? These early Christians dared to ask questions that orthodox Christians later suppressed — and their explorations led to profoundly different visions of Jesus and his message. 

Brilliant, provocative, and stunning in its implications, The Gnostic Gospels is a radical, eloquent reconsideration of the origins of the Christian faith.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Debra | 2/5/2014

    " The most important book I read in my late twenties. Dr. Pagels has spent her career trying to find the 'truth' within Christianity. Her study helped me start solidifying my own spirituality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Syd | 2/2/2014

    " This book shed more light on how christianity was stripped of feminine energy and I was amazed at the similarities of gnostic christianity, buddhism, and psycho therapy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carol Wunderlich | 1/5/2014

    " Pagels soes a good job intigrating history and sociology into her presentation of her thesis of why the Nag Hammadi documents were surpressed by the early church and why gnosticism didn't survive as a branch of Christianity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dane Batty | 12/23/2013

    " This book will make you question everything you have learned about modern day religion. If this is true I can't believe I'm just now hearing this... "

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