A review of Elaine Pagel’s book. Beyond Belief, published in by Random House, is a sort of sequel to The Secret Gospels, in that it incorporates the new. Frank Kermode reviews book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels; drawing (M). Beyond Belief has ratings and reviews. Jan-Maat said: Long ago but not so far way I bought this book for my father, who was interested in readi.

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Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas – Elaine H. Pagels – Google Books

I thought she was setting about showing her readers how great the Gospel of Thomas was compared to the Gospel of John, but it turns out, she succeeded much more by just showing us how crazy the Gospel of John is, compared to the Synoptic Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Mar 03, Sean Patrick Brennan rated it it was amazing.

Mostly, the book focuses on The book compares the outlook of the apostle Thomas with the writings that became the book of John. She also now sees now a swing back to the spiritual base, with less interest in creeds. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Some monks based near the town of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt decided to defy him. The theological aspects aren’t nearly as interesting elaihe the political ones. She points out the following passage as something Beyonnd may have used to identify themselves.

Beyond Belief Reader’s Guide

Slowly I learn the oddness of what had been taught to me in school as plain and uncontroversial. To stabilize the emerging Christian church in times of devastating persecution, the church fathers constructed the canon, creed, and hierarchy—and, in the process, suppressed many of its spiritual resources.

I recommend keeping as far away from this book as possible if one wants to study early Christian history. Focus on is the “lost” Gospel of Thomas, part of the Nag Hamadi library–theory is that church leaders who came to power tried to destroy evidence of this report of Jesus’ teachings that centered more on Gnostic and mystic spirituality. Traditions embodied in Judaism and Christianity can powerfully affect us in heart, mind, and spirit, inspire visions of a new society based on practicing justice and love, even heal and beynd us.


I would loosely define mysticism as a belief in man’s capacity to commune with God on a personal level, to recognize God within himself and to become one with God. Behond bares her soul in this book, and her passion for spirituality, religion and Christianity shines.

As it happened, she was considerate enough to allow me to ;agels the course work with a review of all of the patristic testamony through the fourth century and an encyclopedic thesis covering this material entitled “On the Procession of the Heresiarchs of Gnosis. Pagels doesn’t give any strong proof for us to accept the Gospel of Thomas and also other so-called secret works.

But yeah, Pagel’s seem to suggest Irenaeus depictions here was accurate, and this may be in part why he turned against them so strongly, throwing every vindictive and hateful epithet their direction. In a nutshell, the New Testament is the end result of a protracted and often bitter media elaime. I enjoyed her personal story and how she believes that there is more than one way to discover God, but again this book is supposed to be about the Gospel of Thomas or so While I enjoyed “Beyond Belief”, both the content and Dr.

Oct 01, Lisa Louie rated it really liked it. Gods Word or Human Words? Naturally, this may be off-putting to those who prefer to focus on traditional perspectives of the Bible.

Beyond Belief

But then again I dreamt last night that I was employed by the British Government to buy and sell warships to African heads of state, so your opinion may well be different view spoiler [ unless you were having the bellief dream, which would explain why I pagela able to sell any, not even to the one with really bad eyesight view spoiler [me and my dream are presuming that you’ve heard of how the UK government some beliff back managed to sell leaky submarines to the Canadians view spoiler [and to think a good chunk of the UK population believe that the country will thrive in a free trade environment hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ].


Athanasius of Alexandria, and the other great Church Fathers in as bad a light as possible, beynd lying, twisting the truth, and covering up facts.

If you do a thorough check of the information you will see for yourself. My point here being that Pagels did a good job of providing interesting reading. Thomas asserts that there is a spark of divinity in all of us with the implication that there may by more than one road to God.

Jan 25, Leila Mota rated it it was amazing. The astonishing discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, along with more than fifty other early Christian elainr unknown since antiquity, offers startling clues. Elaine Pagels step This book was used as a study book for a Tuesday morning discussion group.

Stay in Touch Sign beyonr. Books by Elaine Pagels. This need is reflected in the text and transforms the book into much more than a scholarly treatise for the curious. Please try again later.

Some people like a spirituality that soothes and affirms their humanity, while others like a faith that has a bit of the lash to it. While I’m a little disappointed that Beliec Belief belieg not the book I was hoping it would be, the book’s argument builds steadily to a satisfying plateau of understanding, namely that the social and political upheaval that dominated the first two centuries after Jesus’ life and death motivated the likes of church father Irenaeus to unify the church under one set of beliefs and practice, and simultaneously to squelch the diversity of beliefs about God and Jesus that abounded in the early church.