THE ORIGINS OF SATAN

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by Elaine Pagels

Paperback: 214 pages

"Professor Elaine Pagels, well-known for her contributions to the study of early Christian-era Gnostic movements and documents, has produced a gracefully written study of the development and utilization of one of the prominent figures of Christian literature and theology — “the Adversary,” the Diabolos, or Satan. As she indicates in her introduction, her interest in the Prince of Darkness was motivated by a desire to demonstrate how Christians have developed and utilized this mysterious figure to identify their opponents, “whether Jews, pagans, or heretics, with forces of evil, and so with Satan” (p. xxiii)."

excerpt of a lengthy review by Harold O. J. Brown