This book changed everything for me. It made everything seem so... ambiguous. In a good way. Everything is a metaphor. Even the simplest idea is based...moreThis book changed everything for me. It made everything seem so... ambiguous. In a good way. Everything is a metaphor. Even the simplest idea is based on us being in bodies and in space. "in love" as if love is a substance and not some abstract idea... I got bored with some of the more technical parts of the book, but the ideas in here are worth looking through.(less)
This book, for me, was an eye-opener about how randomly we associate things as good, bad, essential, or inessential, and how those judgements go on an...moreThis book, for me, was an eye-opener about how randomly we associate things as good, bad, essential, or inessential, and how those judgements go on and on and evolve and become these monsters of historical sludge that sometimes we even align and agree with... sometimes we are taught... sometimes we are just seem to absorb it in the air of our culture and never imagine that it might be bogus. It was a quick read for me, you gotta read it if you're into art...(less)
This book is so true- all the "dreams" are metaphors for how we live, and how we see time. It is simple and beautiful. I read a passage of this book e...moreThis book is so true- all the "dreams" are metaphors for how we live, and how we see time. It is simple and beautiful. I read a passage of this book everyday until I finished it- it is a quick read, but I enjoyed drawing it out.(less)
I loved this book. I got really attached to the characters. This book is a coming of age story first, and a speculative scifi second. The way it is wr...moreI loved this book. I got really attached to the characters. This book is a coming of age story first, and a speculative scifi second. The way it is written, the reader learns and grows with the characters, who are "told and not told" about their future. (less)
This is a wonderful introduction to the Gnostic Gospels. While it doesn't get into heavy detail, it displays many differing viewpoints in early Christ...moreThis is a wonderful introduction to the Gnostic Gospels. While it doesn't get into heavy detail, it displays many differing viewpoints in early Christianity that seem even more different than they are today (which is really saying something- people believe so many different, opposing things and every one thinks they are right!). She explains the history behind the thoughts, driving the decisions made.
There are a lot of great excerpts from historical documents and the gnostic gospels, so it feels very balanced between all opposing views, and her own narration. It's a short read. I will definitely be reading more of her books to understand more of her viewpoint. She seems against all of the viewpoints she offers up, but refrains from giving much of her own, though she describes herself as "powerfully attracted to Christianity."
Instead of claiming to have the answers, she ends her book with a question, "What is the source of religious authority?"
I enjoyed this book, it's aptly named, as it seems to deal less with the actual message of "Judas"(which is unpopular/confusing in its anger) and more...moreI enjoyed this book, it's aptly named, as it seems to deal less with the actual message of "Judas"(which is unpopular/confusing in its anger) and more with the motivating forces behind the author's harsh words. It seems he had plenty to be upset about.
Elaine Pagels' books are so helpful for anyone with a Christian background. The power struggle and dividing of the early church tell so much of human nature. The things that divided these early Christians (Jesus, redemption) were the very things they had common ground on, compared to their other neighbors. How easy it is for us to demonize our fellow humans.
I haven't read her books in order, so I was surprised when she makes a judgment call about this book not needing to be included in the canon. In "Gnostic Gospels" she doesn't make judgment calls about the books, saying it isn't her job as a historian. She talks about the reasons why the canon was decided the way it was, but doesn't seem to agree with their choices one way or the other. I wonder if the Jesus seminar has made it ok for her to make judgment calls like this, when at one time she wouldn't have. (less)
Dawkins brings up some good points. Can't say I've become an atheist, more because I really don't like labels, being raised as Episcopal & Penteco...moreDawkins brings up some good points. Can't say I've become an atheist, more because I really don't like labels, being raised as Episcopal & Pentecostal, and tried to choose Methodist, but never actually agreed with anything fully. I can see things from too many sides to choose, and everyone seems so sure they're right. I do agree with Dawkins on a lot of points, and I like the guy. He's generally calm and kind in interviews. He is passionate about what he believes, but not unreasonable like so many you see on American television. This is the opposite of what many people seem to think of him in the reviews I've read... People seem to think he's arrogant. How could one not have a sense of superiority with the amount of desperate hate mail he gets from "Christians"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1QmhV...
As for the book... I have a hard time believing the Christians I grew up with would read this book and give it any serious thought. I could care less about the arguments for/against God's existence in this book, honestly. Nothing new there, and I'm not in on the argument. What I hope people take away is:
1. Why do you believe what you believe? What religion were you born into? Might that have a big influence on what you believe? 2. If you believe Hitler was a bad guy, but Joshua fought the battle of Jericho under God's guidance... think about it. 3. If you have kids... don't use the bible to teach right and wrong. The bible is not a good role model! women are property, slavery is a punishment for ancestral sin, lots of war and death. If anything it is a cautionary tale for how many bad things people can do in the name of god. (definitely read the Bible. imp. literature. just... give it an NC17 rating!)
Dawkins admits that people see him as a fundamentalist atheist, and that would be my criticism as well. Religion is not the cause of every evil in the world, any more than Darwin caused Hitler to be... Hitler. If you get rid of religion, people won't suddenly start seeing all other people as equal and not as the "other". That is a phenomena that exists outside religion.
Dawkins' idea of parents raising kids in a certain religion being child abuse is interesting speculation but scary in practice. Maybe all parents mess up their kids in some way. Maybe everyone has ideas that are misguided. Maybe an idea that average parents would want to teach his kids would be found very misleading many years from now. Is the government to tell parents what to teach their kids, or give them a curriculum from 1-5 until they go to school? Does the government take kids out of the home and train them as _________ in some kind of ward of state institution? I think this way of thinking lacks foresight. He himself talks of the church kidnapping and raising a child who was "baptized". There's a parallel there. He is decrying the poor child who is raised in this kind of household, the same way the church believed it was horrible for a "baptized" child to be raised in a Jewish home.
That being said, he does have a point. Hell wasn't scary to me, as I wasn't going there(supposedly), but all my friends were(supposedly!). That was torment enough, hell on earth you might say. But I think people who are really tormented by their religion eventually leave it. If they don't, then the torment can't be blamed on their parents.(less)