Friday, March 16, 2007

Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King

Lately, a lot of non-fiction, especially about atheism, rationalism, and alterntative views of Christianity have found their way onto my shelves. One of my favorite subjects is gnosticism, and a frequent contributor to the critical literature is Elaine Pagels. She writes in a clear, jargon-free style that I particularly like. Her assertions are well-documented by other experts in the field.
Several review journals have written about the Gospel of Judas, and I was hoping she would write an explication soon. I was not disappointed.
I learned quite a bit about the formation of the early Church, and the existence of conflicts, similar to that splitting Islam (Shia vs Sunni), are revealed in more detail. Of course, Holy Blood, Holy Grail posited that there was more to the Judas story than is told in the four canonical gospels
If you have an open mind, if you can stand criticism of Chrsitianity, if you are a rational thinker, this book belongs on your book shelf. Five stars.
--Chiron, 3/16/07

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