Why Religion?

A Personal Story

by Elaine Pagels

On Sale: 11/06/2018

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Why Religion?

A Personal Story

by Elaine Pagels

On Sale: 11/06/2018


About the Book

Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions.

These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss—the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a 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 importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face.

Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture.

A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“In this compelling, honest, and learned memoir, Elaine Pagels, takes us inside her own life in a stirring and illuminating effort to explain religion’s enduring appeal. This is a powerful book about the most powerful of forces.” - Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America

“With characteristic intelligence and wisdom, Elaine Pagels lays bare her own life-shattering losses, offering up the possibility that suffering might afford each of us membership in a profoundly connected human—and cosmic—community. Why Religion? is a revelation and an immense consolation.” - Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States

“Elaine Pagels has written an extraordinary memoir of loss, spiritual struggle, illumination and insight—emotionally heartrending, intellectually exciting, a model of what a memoir should be.” - Joyce Carol Oates

“A magnificent, searing, soul-affirming memoir. Pagels shines the bright light of her brilliant mind on the most essential of human dilemmas: how do we go on in the face of immeasurable loss?  I came away from this book transformed.” - Dani Shapiro

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062368539
  • ISBN 10: 0062368532
  • Imprint: Ecco
  • On Sale: 11/06/2018
  • Pages: 240
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC2 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion

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