• Beyond Belief

  • The Secret Gospel of Thomas
  • By: Elaine Pagels
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (497 ratings)

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Beyond Belief  By  cover art

Beyond Belief

By: Elaine Pagels
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
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Publisher's summary

Spurred by personal tragedy, Elaine Pagels turns to a consideration of the Gnostic Gospels, in particular, the Gospel of Thomas. As opposed to the Gospel of John, which asserted that Jesus was an eternally existing aspect of God who came to earth to save humankind, the "secret" Gospel of Thomas agrees that Jesus was in some sense divine, but says that a streak of divinity can be found in all of us. The Church Fathers did not like Thomas' ideas, and attempted to suppress his Gospel as heretical. Pagels believes that Thomas' words lead to a more open, welcoming, and equitable kind of Christianity. If Beyond Belief is at odds with conservative theological certainties, it nonetheless speaks to Jesus' humanity, and to our own.
©2003 Elaine Pagels (P)2004 Books on Tape

Critic reviews

"Exhilarating reading, Pagels's book offers a model of careful and thoughtful scholarship in the lively and exciting prose of a good mystery writer." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fresh and exciting work of theology and spirituality." (Booklist)
"With the winning combination of sound scholarship, deep insight and crystal-clear prose style that distinguishes all her work, Pagels portrays the great variety of beliefs, teachings and practices that were found among the earliest Christians." (Los Angeles Times)