The Gnostic Gospels
Paperback 182 pp
In 1945, an Egyptian peasant found in the desert near Nag Hammadi, a collection of papyri which turned out to be the Gnostic Gospels, a stunning history of one of the earliest Christian sects and one which was declared heretical by the growing Christian church. In this National Book Award volume, historian Elaine Pagels pursues with elegance and clarity the question raised by the Gnostic Gospels: "What is the relation between the authority of one's own experience and that claimed for the Scriptures, the ritual and the clergy?" It is a question still being asked today, and Pagels' study goes a long way toward putting it in perspective.