In this memorable clip from A World of Ideas (1988), Princeton University religion professor Elaine Pagels explains how different interpretations of the Bible lead to both positive and negative perceptions of sex in the story of Adam and Eve, and how the transmission of sin itself can be perceived in sexual terms.
Watch the entire conversation between Bill Moyers and Elaine Pagels.
About Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels is the author of numerous articles and five books and is well known for her work in translating the Nag Hammadi Library, translations which contradicted the image of the early Christian Church as a unified movement. Pagels published the results of her scholarship in The Gnostic Gospels, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award and has been published in 10 foreign languages. She is also the author of The Gnostic Paul; Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; The Origin of Satan; Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas; and now, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation. The recipient of the MacArthur Prize, she has also received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.
Interviews with Elaine Pagels