A misleading title for a scholarly work that I found basically difficult to read. Pagels is a PhD from Harvard and a MacArthur award winner for her writing; so, it is not for lack of intelligence and peer respect that she writes this book. A better title, in my opinion, would be “Development of the Early Christian Church,” and subtitled, “The Influence of Original Sin.”
That said, I can point to some interesting facts about the Garden of Eden, its true meaning, and about early founders, and contradictions about what was the best course for the church to follow, but the back-and-forth about the ideas of the main characters after Christianity became the State Religion and the New Testament was canonized, tests me for the ability to hold my attention. There are many, many excerpts from opinion makers of the time that could have been totally placed in footnotes and trusted to the author’s summary of them.
All-told, a thoroughly researched, scholarly work, but for the average reader, some tough slogging as the events progress.
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