The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics

The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics

From the religious historian whose The Gnostic Gospels won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award comes a dramatic interpretation of Satan and his role on the Christian tradition. With magisterial learning and the elan of a born storyteller, Pagels turns Satan's story into an audacious exploration of Christianity's shadow side, in which the gospel of love gives way to irrational hatreds that continue to haunt Christians and non-Christians alike.

Title:The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780679731184
Format Type:

    The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics Reviews

  • BlackOxford

    The Evil Among UsThe obvious advantage of writing is that it makes language visible. The not so obvious consequence of visibility is that we can see how what we mean by what we say evolves. And, least...

  • Rebecca

    My senior year of college, I actually took a class with Professor Pagels on the history of early Christianity. We started with other break-away Jewish sects at the same time as the beginning of Christ...

  • Chris

    Let me get this out of the way right up front: I can't think of the title of this book without the Church Lady from the heyday of Saturday Night Live popping into my brain. And now she's in yours, too...

  • [Name Redacted]

    Too many assumptions, too much guesswork, too many leaps of faith, too much specious reasoning, especially from an author who wishes to be taken seriously. I have to admit that I'm actually biased aga...

  • Erik Graff

    This is another of Elaine Pagels' popular books about early Christianity. The topic of this one is what Jungians refer to as "the Shadow" and how the figure of Satan, "the adversary", came to be conve...

  • ??????? (arkhaîos)

    Elaine Pagels does a wonderful job of tracing her theme through the period before Christ into the period of the rise and fall of gnosticism. Her arguments are precise and clearly explained, not fallin...

  • Liz

    Elaine Pagels has a way of presenting the history of the early Christian community that makes it accessible to non-scholars. She presents a "whole picture" of the political, cultural, religious and so...

  • Miles Zarathustra

    To fully understand a way of thinking, one must study what it abhors.The word "Satan" originally (in the book of Job) meant simply "adversary," and was only presented as a literary foil, (with the art...

  • Ian

    Although I take an interest in religion and philosophy, I am by no means a religious scholar, so I'm afraid much of Pagels arguments went over my head. My key takeaways, which may or may not be wholly...

  • Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    Ideological movements may or may not have a God or Gods, but all ideological movements have a devil. Us vs. them dynamics is a hallmark of all movements that require costly commitments. Such movement...