Why is religion still alive? Why are people still engaged in old folk takes and mythological stories — even those without rational and ethical foundations.
ELAINE PAGELS is a Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University; Author The Gnostic Gospels; Beyond Belief; and Revelation.
In July, Edge held its annual Master Class in Napa, California on the theme: “The Science of Human Nature”. In the six week period that began September 12th, we are publishing the complete video, audio, and texts: …
Lecture by Elaine Pagels:
THE BOOK OF REVELATION
[ELAINE PAGELS:] The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible. It’s the most controversial. It doesn’t have any stories, moral teaching. It only has visions, dreams and nightmares. Not many people say they understand it, but for 2000 years, this book has been wildly popular. Why would anyone bother with a book that rationalists love to hate, I was thinking that from Epicurus to Richard Dawkins. Many people assume what I learned from my father, who converted from Presbyterianism to Darwin and became a biologist, that religion was nothing but a compensation for ignorance, and would soon die off. In fact, I thought I heard Steve imply this yesterday when you included in modernity, science, but not religion…..