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The Gnostic Gospels (Anglais) Broché – 6 décembre 1990


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt." --The New York Times Book Review


From the Trade Paperback edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

A provocative study of the gnostic gospels and the world of early Christianity as revealed through the Nag Hammadi texts. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .



Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 192 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Books Ltd; Édition : New edition (6 décembre 1990)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0140134689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140134681
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,4 x 1,2 x 19,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 100.062 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 14 décembre 2005
Format: Relié
In her prize-winning book 'The Gnostic Gospels', a book which has remained in the popular eye for the past two decades since its first publication in 1979, Elaine Pagels has put together a popular treatment of a hitherto (but since more popularly-accessible) academic-only subject. The discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library were very much a topic of conversation, but always topics about which things were spoken, rather than of which things were spoken. This book helped change that in common parlance, and also served as a basic primer for those new to the field who would then proceed to more in-depth study and analysis.
In her relatively substantial introduction, Pagels goes through a history of the coming into light of the texts of Nag Hammadi, contrasting it with the more popularly known Dead Sea Scrolls. However, the Nag Hammadi texts also had their fair share of intrigue and cloak-and-dagger kinds of dealings, until finally coming into the relatively safe hands of museums and academics.
Pagels proceeds from this background with a brief history of Christian thought in the first few centuries after Christ. She particularly highlights the contrasts between orthodoxy and catholic trends, and how each relates to a gnostic point of view. What are the issues of the resurrection? Why was this taken literally? What authority is conferred upon those who saw the risen Lord, and why was it not so evenly spread (Mary Magdalene, alas, seems to have gotten the short end of the stick authority-wise, despite being listed numerous times as the first witness of the resurrection, and indeed the apostle to the apostles, proclaiming his resurrection to the unbelieving men).
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Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 22 décembre 2005
Format: Broché
In her prize-winning book 'The Gnostic Gospels', a book which has remained in the popular eye for the past two decades since its first publication in 1979, Elaine Pagels has put together a popular treatment of a hitherto (but since more popularly-accessible) academic-only subject. The discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library were very much a topic of conversation, but always topics about which things were spoken, rather than of which things were spoken. This book helped change that in common parlance, and also served as a basic primer for those new to the field who would then proceed to more in-depth study and analysis.
In her relatively substantial introduction, Pagels goes through a history of the coming into light of the texts of Nag Hammadi, contrasting it with the more popularly known Dead Sea Scrolls. However, the Nag Hammadi texts also had their fair share of intrigue and cloak-and-dagger kinds of dealings, until finally coming into the relatively safe hands of museums and academics.
Pagels proceeds from this background with a brief history of Christian thought in the first few centuries after Christ. She particularly highlights the contrasts between orthodoxy and catholic trends, and how each relates to a gnostic point of view. What are the issues of the resurrection? Why was this taken literally? What authority is conferred upon those who saw the risen Lord, and why was it not so evenly spread (Mary Magdalene, alas, seems to have gotten the short end of the stick authority-wise, despite being listed numerous times as the first witness of the resurrection, and indeed the apostle to the apostles, proclaiming his resurrection to the unbelieving men).
Lire la suite ›
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829 internautes sur 865 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A provocative, insightful look at the early Christian church 24 décembre 2003
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Noted historian of the early church Elaine Pagels has produced a clear, cogent, and very effective introduction to the subject of Gnosticism, a different form of Christianity that was declared heretical and virtually stamped out by the orthodox church by the start of the second century after Christ. Most of what we knew of the Gnostic belief system came from the religious authors who worked so hard to destroy the movement, but that changed drastically with the still relatively recent discovery of a number of lost Gnostic writings near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt. Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, this momentous discovery of ancient papyri has received little attention, and I must admit I went into this book knowing virtually nothing about Gnosticism. As an historian by training and a Christian, the information in these "heretical" texts intrigue me, and I believe that Christians should challenge their faith by examining material that does not fall in line with accepted beliefs. I should note that Pagels does not attempt to summarize or examine in detail the Gnostic Gospels in and of themselves; her particular focus here is the way in which Gnosticism affected the rise of the orthodox church that declared the Gnostics heretics. Still, she presents a great deal of information on many of the newly discovered texts and inarguably shows that the Christian church was founded in a society espousing a number of contradictory viewpoints.
Pagels does a good job of presenting the context in which the early Christians lived and eventually argued against one another. The debate was seemingly one over spiritual authority, and social and political issues played a part alongside purely religious disagreements between different factions. I think she tends to overemphasize the sociopolitical implications of Gnosticism, yet her arguments are certainly sensible and enlightening. One of the problems with Gnosticism as a movement was the disagreement among many so-called Gnostics on a number of issues. In terms of Gnosticism as a whole, however, one can point to a number of thoughts and ideas that ably represent the whole. Gnostics basically saw their faith as an internal thing, a practice based on the secret knowledge Jesus supposedly shared with a select number of individuals, one of whom was Mary Magdalene. Gnostics attracted women in particular because most Gnostics viewed everyone as equal and allowed for the participation of women in any sacred act. The orthodox, arguing that the disciples were men and thus the church held no leadership positions for women, opposed the teachings on these grounds. Gnostics basically believed that one found Christ in oneself; inner visions were the trademarks of true Gnostics. To the orthodox church founded on the basis of Peter's succession as the head of the church, Gnostics thus placed themselves not only on the same footing as the apostles but above even the Twelve. They tried to answer their own questions as to how Christ could be both human and divine, and many of them came to view Christ as a spiritual being who only appeared to suffer and die. Many also interpreted the virgin birth in spiritual rather than human terms. To the orthodox Christians, this was blasphemy, for the church as we know it is basically built on the faith and belief that God's son took on a human form and died in the literal sense on the Cross in order to conquer Death and save all of his followers. Some Gnostics came to believe that the Creator was not God but a demiurge who falsely declared there was no other God but him. Thus, orthodox Christians were seen as following a false god out of ignorance, a charge that did not set well with orthodox Christians. The orthodox beliefs on the subject of resurrection legitimized a hierarchy of persons through whose authority all others must approach God. Gnostic teachings were thus seen as subversive of this social order by offering direct access to God outside of the priests and bishops of the orthodox church.
A true discussion of Gnostic beliefs would take many pages to even begin, and Pagels has jam packed a relatively short book with much information along those lines. Her contrast between the two competing forms of early Christianity clearly explains how and why the orthodox church worked so vehemently to stamp out the heretical Gnostic acolytes. I am of the opinion that Gnosticism would have died out of its own accord had it not been declared heretical; its followers basically practiced a deeply personal and largely unorganized form of worship that excluded the masses. The early church needed organization in order to survive, especially during the times of awful persecution we find in the centuries after Christ's death. This is a deeply provocative book indeed, addressing a subject I will continue to investigate. As a Christian of fundamentalist Southern Baptist persuasion, I will add that nothing I read here posed any threat to my current beliefs or faith. Those Christians who fear the influence of a different type of Christianity should not avoid this book or others like it out of fear; instead, such individuals should test their faith by reading this provocative material because one's faith can actually be strengthened rather than weakened by such endeavors.
211 internautes sur 224 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Question of Religious Authority 18 avril 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The book, The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels presents an easy-reading historical document that reveals the fundamental and theoretical similarities and differences of gnostic and orthodox Christians of the early Christian movement. According to Pagels, the finding of the 52 Coptic texts at Nad Hammadi in 1945, has seemingly shifted our very thoughts about Christianity as a traditional religious movement. Interpretation of the gospels reveals that historically, various diverse forms of Christianity flourished during Christianity's early formative years. Probably the single most threatening movement of the time was a group known as the Gnostics who formed from a variety of sources and traditions and who were often referred to as a heretical movement by the Christian church forefathers. The strength of Pagels work shows that although Gnostic and orthodox Christians believed in God and the value of sharing a relationship with God, they differed greatly in their approach to knowing and understanding God. Gnostics believed that one could know God by gaining insight into oneself, and that by knowing oneself, one might understand human nature and destiny. In general, Gnostics maintained an equality amongst individuals and established no fixed orders of clergy. They allowed all individuals to seek to know God through their own experience and to achieve personal enlightenment through rigorous spiritual discipline and self-discovery. Unlike the Gnostics, the Christian church developed as a religious structure to encourage social interaction amongst individuals and required only that individuals accept the simplest essentials of faith and a variety of celebrated church rituals. Pagels work also succinctly shows the interaction between the two forms of Christianity and challenges the reader to explore the very meanings of the movements on the Christian tradition of today. The essence of the book reveals that the survival of the Christian tradition was dependent on the organizational and theological structure of the emerging church and that the emergence of the religious hierarchical structure of the church seemed to mirror the difficult times of the growing social and political forces of the governing body of that time. Furthermore, the movement to institutionalize Christianity, created a leadership structure that consisted of a small band of persons (bishop and priests) who stood in a position of incontestable authority to define how individuals could know God. Pagels postulates that mounting alienation from the world in which the individuals lived combined with a longing for a miraculous salvation as an escape from the constraints of political and social existence of the time, gave the necessary strength and power to create the burgeoning orthodox Christian church. A shortcoming of the book concerns Pagels personal indifference in the final chapter of the very core truths of Gnosticism that she so vividly and explicitly sought to describe in her book. Certainly, Pagels gave a strong voice of support for the movement in terms of it's early beginnings with orthodox Christians and it's impact on Christianity today. Surprisingly, however, she chose to leave the reader hanging by failing to embrace the concepts of Gnosticism that she asked the reader to re-visit regarding some of the major debates surrounding issues of religious authority and God. Despite this shortcoming, the author highly recommends Pagels engaging, richly evocative, well-written, historical text that introduces the amazingly paradoxical development of the early Christian movement.
157 internautes sur 168 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brings up questions of what might have been... 24 novembre 2002
Par Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Elaine Pagels is a first-rate religious historian-- currently a professor at Princeton-- and "The Gnostic Gospels" is her best known work, examining the contents of "secret" gospels written after the death of Jesus which were rejected from canonization and therefore are largely unknown to Bible-reading Christians.
What is most interesting to consider is just how different Christianity might be today if additional writings had been included in the Bible. One theory as to why they weren't was that early bishops wanted only gospels written by Jesus's apostles included in the Bible, although subsequent scholarship has proven that none of the Gospels' authorship is certain. Among the rejected, the Gospel of Thomas is probably the best known, and it is fascinating in its non-literal approach to Christ. Jesus is described as telling his followers that the Kingdom of God is not a realm (Pagels concludes that it is closer to an altered state of consciousness) and makes comments that place him closer in philosophy to the Buddha than to St. Paul.
A lot is covered in just 180 pages -- Pagels gets credit for being among the least self-indulgent writers around. She lays down the facts and then lets the reader mull over them. No matter what your beliefs, you will benefit from reading this book.
182 internautes sur 200 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding and thought-provoking 8 juin 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Christianity has shaped Western civilization much more than we care to believe in these agnostic times. Some of our most basic ways of thinking can be traced back to those chaotic years in the first few centuries of our era when people were trying to form a systematic theology from the teachings of Jesus. The Biblical canon had not yet been formed, and what we now call orthodoxy was just one of many systems. Among the different interpretations in this ferment were those called Gnostic, and I have long tried to understand exactly what Gnosis was. I found Dr. Pagels' short book to be a masterwork of clear and concise scholarly thinking. Gnosis was not so much a doctrine but a way of doing religion that emphasized a very individualistic approach to God, propagated by close mentor-student training. Gnostics tended to exclusive and restricted to intellectuals and ascetics. This was in opposition to the more 'mainstream' church, which wanted to be universal and inclusive, with a well-defined hierachy of priests and bishops. Thus, the struggle was sociological and political as much as it was religious. I have read through Dr. Pagels' work several times, and it is among the best books I have come across on any subject
83 internautes sur 91 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
pretty good 23 mai 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I disagree with the previous reviewer who stated this is only speculation. The author does a good job of documenting her sources. Whether it's true or not I cannot say but it is not pure speculation.
She doesn't go into depth about Gnostic spirituality or mythology but explains the basic Gnostic orientation towards the teachings of Jesus. The orientation she describes is one that encourages individuals to attain knowledge for themselves rather than rely on the authority of the church.
This book might be offensive to traditional Christians and is probably the reason for some of the more unfavorable reviews.
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