INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR ELAINE PAGELS WILL DISCUSS “REVELATIONS, VISIONS, PROPHECY, AND POLITICS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION” IN A LECTURE AT CENTRAL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
Princeton Professor Elaine Pagels will explore what she views as the strangest and most controversial book of the Bible – The Book of Revelation – in a lecture Friday, January 6 at Central Congregational Church in Providence. The 6 p.m. event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Pagels will discuss its author, John of Patmos, and the wartime circumstances that impelled him to write as he did – and how it got into the Bible. Using a display of art and music inspired by the Book, she shows how people have continued to read it for 2,000 years – and contrasts it with dozens of other “books of revelation: — Jewish, Christian, Greek, Egyptian – written around the same time.
Pagel’s bestselling first book “The Gnostic Gospels,” published in 1979, explored the myth of the early Christian church as a unified movement through its analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts discovered in Egypt in l945. It also showed that women’s early prominent role in some Christian groups did not survive as the Church became an orthodox body with a canon, rites and formal male clergy.
The Gnostic Gospels won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award and is considered one of the best 100 books of the 20th century by the Modern Library. Dr. Pagels has authored several other New York Times bestsellers, among them: Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas: and Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity.
Dr. Pagels received her BA and MA from Stanford and PhD from Harvard. She has taught at Princeton since 1982 and is currently the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion. Her next book: Revelations, Visions, Prophesy and Politics in the Book of Revelation will be published next March
The lecture will be the seventh in a series sponsored by former Brown professor and current Brookings Institution Senior Vice President Darrell West who will introduce Dr. Pagels.
Previous speakers in the West series include: Washington Post columnist and Georgetown University professor E.J. Dionne, Jr.; Mara Liasson, national political correspondent at NPR; Juan Williams, former senior news analyst at NPR; Rev. Jim Wallis, evangelical Christian writer and executive director of Sojourners; Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Dr., James Forbes, Jr., renowned preacher and Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church in New York City.
Central Congregational Church is located at 296 Angell Street at the corner of Diman and Angell Streets in Providence.