Elaine Pagels has made a career out of rewriting Christian history. Her first book, the 1979 best seller The Gnostic Gospels, reappraised Christian documents long considered heretical. In the books that followed, she took on the development of Satan, the apocalypse, and original sin, writing with academic rigor for a broad audience. Most of those books were informed by cataclysms in her personal life, as she outlines in her new memoir, Why Religion? In 1987, her 6-year-old son, Mark, died after a prolonged illness, and the following year, her husband, the famous physicist Heinz Pagels, died after falling off a mountain in Colorado.Here's another one: Elaine Pagels on grief, her #MeToo story, and why we find meaning in religion (Jana Riess, Religion News Service).
And this one has a brief interview and also gives an overview of her career: In New Book, Religion Scholar Elaine Pagels Tells Her Own Story. A scholar controversial for her work on Christian tradition discusses how she overcame tragedy in her own family (Alexandra Wolfe, Wall Street Journal).
If you want to hear how a premier biblical scholar approaches the big and tragic issues in life, you should read them.
Professor Pagels's new book, Why Religion?: A Personal Story, is out on 6 November with Ecco Press.
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