A National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author deepens and refreshes our view of early Christianity while casting a disturbing light on the evolution of the attitudes passed down to us.
Confirms her reputation as both a scholar and a popular interpreter.... Continuously rewarding and illuminating. --The New York Times
How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into the bulwark of a new imperial order--with the central belief that human beings cannot not
choose to sin? In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked the early church as it confronted the riddles of sexuality, freedom, and sin as embodied in the story of Genesis. And she shows how what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.