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The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field.” With those words in Genesis, God condemns the serpent for tempting Adam and Eve, and the serpent has shouldered the blame ever since. But how would the study of religion change if we looked at the Fall from the snake’s point of view? Would he appear as a bringer of wisdom, ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published December 15th 2006 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2006)
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Melissa Rudd
Jun 19, 2016 Melissa Rudd rated it liked it
I simultaneously appreciated and was annoyed by The Serpent's Gift. My annoyance stemmed primarily from Kripal's frustrating degree of constant antagonism toward orthodoxy/faith/religion generally, even as he advocates a gnostic approach to the study of religion that goes beyond only the tools of Enlightenment reason. My primary critique of Kripal is the simplistic way he seems to distinguish “Orthodoxy” and Gnosticism. My best knowledge of world religions is of Judaism, so I will restrict my ...more
Jeremy
I'm a great fan of Kripal's work, which explores the psychology of religion and mystical experience as well as examining considerations of reflexivity in the scholar of religion. He's an intellectual risk-taker, which makes for exciting if sometimes somewhat infuriating reads. This book is no exception, although reading it in 2010, there is also a section that falls uncharacteristically flat (the section on superheroes).

I will say that this book covers similar territory to Roads of Excess, Palac
...more
Richard
Jul 30, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
As good as "roads of excess" "Kali's Child" & "esalen" ... everything i've read by Kripal has been amazing.
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