Why Religion?

A Personal Story

by Elaine Pagels (Author)


In the wake of great personal tragedy, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Pagels reflects on the persistence and nature of belief and why religion matters

Why does religion still exist in the twenty-first century? And why do so many people--even, and especially, those who challenge religion--continue to argue about the questions it raises? What purpose does it serve in our lives? These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when she was dealing with unimaginable loss: the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves her personal story with the work that she loves--illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most important, how we get through our most difficult challenges.

In the process, Pagels opens up unexpected ways of understanding this stubbornly persistent aspect of our culture. A provocative and deeply moving memoir from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.


Elaine Pagels, Author

Pagels, Elaine: -

Elaine Pagels is a preeminent academic whose impressive scholarship has earned her international respect. The Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, Pagels was awarded the Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Fellowships in three consecutive years. She is the author of The Gnostic Gospels, Beyond Belief, and Revelations.

, Author

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