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Why Religion?: A Personal Story af Elaine…
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Why Religion?: A Personal Story (original 2018; udgave 2020)

af Elaine Pagels (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3691870,930 (4.06)12
New York Times bestseller One of PW's Best Books of the Year One of Amazon's Best Books of the Month Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions. These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss--the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face. Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture. A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.… (mere)
Medlem:astorianbooklover
Titel:Why Religion?: A Personal Story
Forfattere:Elaine Pagels (Forfatter)
Info:Ecco (2020), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages
Samlinger:Skal læses
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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Why Religion?: A Personal Story af Elaine Pagels (2018)

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Viser 1-5 af 18 (næste | vis alle)
Elaine Pagels’ “Why Religion” like Joan Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is not a book I would recommend for your summer vacation. Sad! Beautiful but too darned sad.

Both authors try to cope with the death of husband and child, in Pagel’s work, a very young child. There is the survivor’s guilt, the extraordinary loneliness, the problems rejoining life, and what seems to be the worst, the utter lack of meaning behind why life at all if we are destined to perdition.

How Pagels climbs out of her despair is to find renewed meaning in her work which is decoding the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammardi manuscripts she most famously discussed in “The Gnostic Gospels,” a book which really opened my eyes on the diversity of opinion and practise at the dawn of the Christian Era.

Much as I enjoyed renewing my interest in the heretical scripts, I didn’t quite believe the re-birth Pagels undergoes by the end of the book, a process, in fairness, that took her years.

The problems of meaning, the origins and meaning of evil, consume me to this day, my fascination with evil going back my early English lit classes in university and first exposure to Satan in Paradise Lost.

Rationalists like Pagels physicist husband Heinz Pagels have little structure to handle the presence of evil in human existence and I give Elaine Pagels full credit for deconstructing its origins in the monotheistic religions.

Pagels finds some solace in the communal celebrations and the communal work to make meaning in the universe.

I still wrestle with it.

( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
Let me preface this saying I'm not a biography reader in general. I read this because I've read a couple of her books for a course. The why religion question gets examined through the lens of Pagels incredibly tragic misfortunes, but it's butting heads with the personal story and feels tacked on at times, like this is what she's known for and this is how you have to sell a biographical account of someone so known. While the story is high on pathos, due to Pagels ambivalence toward religion there's no real driving conclusion, like a grand conversion or reimagining of life in the light of some religious passage; rather it's some pertinent examples and discussion from religious history that sometimes intersect what's going on in her life, and she thinks might be worth considering. Rather tepid. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
I was drawn to this title because years ago I read and admired Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels. This audio version, narrated by Lynde Houck, was a fantastic listening experience. Houck creates just the right tone for the content.

Pagels tells her life story from how she first became interested in Christianity, to her graduate studies and early career, to the death of her son and a year later the unexpected death of her husband, physicist Heinz Pagels. These tragedies both compelled and shaped her scholarly interests. The relationship the Pagels shared seems like such a true partnership and a beautiful intertwining of their love and intellectual interests.

One of the things I admired about this memoir is how Pagels seamlessly weaves together her interest in religion and her love for Heinz and their children with her work. I can't recall reading a memoir that so deftly and relevantly entwines the writer's work, love, and life. Perhaps this is due to the nature of Pagels' work in religion. She also brings in anthropology, philosophy, and science to look at issues of emotional pain, loss, and mourning. Pagels' work in religion after these tragedies was an exploration of how others have dealt with death and grief. She blasts traditional Christian platitudes around pain and death (e.g., God doesn't give us more than we can handle).

An excellent read (and listen) for those interested in a scholar's journey, religious studies, and dealing with the pain of death.

( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
Pagels's memoir demonstrates why it's important to understand the cultural, historical context of scripture *and* value one's personal experience through a scriptural lens. In other words, this will likely annoy both academics and evangelicals. ( )
  IVLeafClover | Jun 21, 2022 |
A religious scholar experiences tragic loss and grief, turns to the texts she has studied, and finds in some of them a universal human understanding. I cannot imagine the losses she suffered, but I am glad she found a way through, and was able to give the rest of us this book. ( )
  rumbledethumps | Mar 23, 2021 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Elaine Pagelsprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Chong, Suet LeeDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Conviser, BarbaraAuthor photographermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Houck, LyndeFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Saltzman, AllisonOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wong, EuniceFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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New York Times bestseller One of PW's Best Books of the Year One of Amazon's Best Books of the Month Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions. These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss--the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face. Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture. A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.

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