New York: Random House, 1988. First edition. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Elaine Pagels on the title page. Some dusting to the top edge, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a few small closed tears. In Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels explores the development of the ideas of human nature, moral freedom, and sexuality in the four centuries following Christ. Focusing on the various interpretations of the Genesis creation stories, she concludes that early Christians regarded their message to be one of moral freedom and human worth. In the 5th century, Augustine turned the tide with his view of human depravity and original sin (which he linked with sexuality). She argues that his interpretations, implying human incapacity for true political freedom, appealed to the interests of the emerging Christian state and forged the mainstream of ensuing Christian theology. "A stunning book...[that] refreshes our view of early Christianity" (Christian Science Monitor). (Inventory #: 16026)
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