Elaine Pagels changed the historical landscape of the Christian religion by exploding the myth of the early Church as a unified movement. Her findings were published in the bestselling book, The Gnostic Gospels, an analysis of 52 early Christian manuscripts that were unearthed in Egypt. The book won both the National Book Critic’s Circle Award and the National Book Award and was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best books of the 20th Century. Dr. Pagels’ other bestselling books include Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, The Origin of Satan, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas and most recently, Reading Judas (co-authored with Karen King).
The recipient of the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships in three consecutive years, she is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and has a working command of Greek, Latin, German, Hebrew, French, Italian and Coptic.