FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Beyond Belief: The Secret... has been added to your Basket
+ £0.00 delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very light edge wear to cover. Otherwise excellent condition. Thank you for your interest in Hospiscare - care and support for the people of Exeter, East and Mid Devon.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (Vintage) Paperback – 1 May 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback
£11.14
£5.45 £1.20
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
click to open popover


Frequently bought together

  • Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (Vintage)
  • +
  • The Gnostic Gospels
Total price: £18.22
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375703160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375703164
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Amazon Review

Shortly after Elaine Pagels' two-and-half-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, the religion professor found herself drawn to a Christian church again for the first time in many years. In Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas Pagels, best know for her National Book Award winner The Gnostic Gospels, wrestles with her own faith as she struggles to understand when--and why--Christianity became associated almost exclusively with the ideas codified in the fourth-century Nicene Creed and in the canonical texts of the New Testament. In her exploration, she uncovers the richness and diversity of Christian philosophy that has only become available since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts.

At the centre of Beyond Belief is what Pagels identifies as a textual battle between the Gospel of Thomas (rediscovered in Egypt in 1945) and the Gospel of John. While these gospels have many superficial similarities, Pagels demonstrates that John, unlike Thomas, declares that Jesus is equivalent to "God the Father" as identified in the Old Testament. Thomas, in contrast, shares with other supposed secret teachings a belief that Jesus is not God but, rather, is a teacher who seeks to uncover the divine light in all human beings. Pagels then shows how the Gospel of John was used by Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon and others to define orthodoxy during the second and third centuries. The secret teachings were literally driven underground, disappearing until the 20th century. As Pagels argues this process "not only impoverished the churches that remained but also impoverished those [Irenaeus] expelled".

Beyond Belief offers a profound framework with which to examine Christian history and contemporary Christian faith, and Pagels renders her scholarship in a highly readable narrative. The one deficiency in Pagels' examination of Thomas, if there is one, is that she never fully returns in the end to her own struggles with religion that so poignantly open the book. How has the mysticism of the Gnostic Gospels affected her? While she hints that she and others have found new pathways to faith through Thomas, the impact of Pagels' work on contemporary Christianity may not be understood for years to come. --Patrick O'Kelley, Amazon.com

Review

"Pagels has accomplished a very rare thing, an examination of early religious writings that is a good read, accessible, and at times even dramatic and poignant." --The Columbus Dispatch

"This remarkable book will stir and provoke thought. It offers rewards to any reader concerned with the promise and power of faith, and the hunger for spiritual discovery." --The Christian Science Monitor

"Lucid . . . a spiritual as well as an intellectual exercise. . . . [Pagels] seems to rejoice that in the earliest years of Christianity there existed these strange, dissident doctrines." --Frank Kermode, The New York Times Book Review

"With the winning combination of sound scholarship, deep insight and a crystal clear prose style . . . [Beyond Belief] portrays the rich and beautiful heritage that was lost when champions of religious orthodoxy turned on many of their fellow Christians and declared them 'heretics'." --Los Angeles Times

"Brilliantly lucid, elegantly written . . . [Pagels'] book is so readable you can't put it down." -- Providence Journal-Bulletin

"Just as topical today as it was nearly two thousand years ago. . . . Pagels is great at pulling together the details that allow us to understand not only what people were arguing about but why." -San Jose Mercury News

"Majestic. . . . Exhilarating reading, Pagel's book offers a model of careful and thoughtful scholarship in the lively and exciting prose of a mystery writer." -Publishers Weekly

"This luminous and accessible history of early Christian thought offers profound and crucial insights on the nature of God, revelation, and what we mean by religious truth." -Karen Armstong

"As relevant as today's front page." -The Washington Post Book World

See all Product description


Customer reviews

Read reviews that mention

Top customer reviews

9 November 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
19 September 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
13 March 2018
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
17 October 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
5 November 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
23 March 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
2 January 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
3 June 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Would you like to see more reviews about this item?

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?