Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect. The Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, she was awarded the Rockefeller, Guggenheim & MacArthur Fellowships in three consecutive years.
As a young researcher at Barnard College, she changed forever the historical landscape of the Christian religion by exploding the myth of the early Christian Church as a unified movement. Her findings were published in the bestselling book, The Gnostic Gospels, an analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts that were unearthed in Egypt. Known collectively as the Nag Hammadi Library, the manuscripts show the pluralistic nature of the early church & the role of women in the developing movement. As the early church moved toward becoming an orthodox body with a canon, rites & clergy, the Nag Hammadi manuscripts were suppressed & deemed heretical. The Gnostic Gospels won both the Nat'l Book Critic’s Circle Award & the Nat'l Book Award & was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best books of the 20th Century.
Elaine Pagels is the author of books: The Gnostic Gospels, The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, Why Religion?: A Personal Story, The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters, The Gospel of Thomas: New Perspectives on Jesus' Message (W/18-Page Supplement), The Gnostic Gospels/Adam, Eve and the Serpent/The Origins of Satan