Author Elaine Pagels Discusses ‘Why Religion?’

On Saturday, December 5, at 4 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton will host an event with Elaine Pagels, author of numerous best-selling books about religion, such as “The Gnostic Gospels,” “Adam, Eve and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity,” “The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Heretics, and Pagans” and “Beyond Belief.” Her most recent book, “Why Religion? A Personal Memoir,” is a departure from the others and one in which she tells her own story, and why she loves investigating the history of religion. Pagels will be interviewed by writer Jeffrey Sussman and the program available to all registrants via Zoom. To register for the discussion visit

Pagels is a critically acclaimed historian of religion and the Harrington Spear Paine Professor at Princeton University and an Aspen Institute Trustee. She joined the Princeton faculty in 1982, shortly after receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. She is a recipient of the Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities for “her ability to show readers that the ancient texts she studies are concerned with the great questions of human existence though they may discuss them in mythological or theological language very different from our own.” In 2013, she received an honorary law degree from her alumni, Harvard University and, in 2016, the National Medal for the Arts from President Barack Obama.


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