“How did the early Christians come to believe that sex was inherently sinful? When did the Fall of Adam become synonymous with the fall of all humanity? What turned Christianity from a dissident sect that championed the integrity of the individual and the idea of free will into the bulwark of a new imperial order—with the central belief that human beings cannot choose not to sin? In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked the early church as it confronted the riddles of sexuality, freedom, and sin as embodied in the story of Genesis. And she shows what was once heresy came to shape our own attitudes toward the body and the soul.” — back cover
“Rebel Angels is a digital-first comic book series about a revolution in Hell ten thousand years after Eve bit into that juicy apple and Satan took on The Big Guy. The demon masses are wising up and asking themselves “What the hell were we thinking?” Join fallen angel Balthazar on his quest for meaning and redemption in a mad, morally inverted world where the bad rule the good and hope is a sin.” [via]
“WITH this our ‘Christian’ parents marred our youth:
‘One thing is certain of our origin.
We are born Adam’s bastards into sin,
Servants to Death and Time’s devouring tooth.
God, damning most, had this one thought of ruth
To save some dozens—Us: and by the skin
Of teeth to save us from the devil’s gin—
Repentance! Blood! Prayer! Sackcloth!
This is truth.'” [via]
“Thus, I was broken on the wheel of Truth.
Fled all the hope and purpose of my youth,
The high desire, the secret joy, the sin
That coiled its rainbow dragon scales within.
Hope’s being, life’s delight, time’s eager tooth;
All, all are gone; the serpent sloughs his skin!” [via]
“Loved, and no sin done! Ay, the world shall see
The quest is first—a love less terrible.
Yet, as I ride toward the edge of snow
That cuts the blue, I think. For even so
Comes reason to me: ‘Oh, return, return!
What folly is it for two souls to burn
With hell’s own fire! What is this quest of woe?
What is the end? Consider and discern!’
Banish the thought! My working reason still
Is the rebellious vassal to my will,
Because I will it. That is God’s own mind.
I cast all thought and prudence to the wind:
On, to the quest! The cursed parrot hill
Mocks on, on, on! The thought is left behind.” [via]
“But we, one joy, one love, one shame for leaven,
Quit hope and life, quit fear and death and love,
Implacable as God, desired above
All loves of hell or heaven, supremely wed,
Knit in one soul in one delicious bed
More hot than hell, more wicked than all things,
Vast in our sin, whose unredeeming wings
Rise o’er the world, and flap for lust of death,
Eager as anyone that travaileth” [via]
“O little root of nobleness left thus
Dead since it has no power to grow, to bloom;
Live, since I may not bury it within
The gaping tomb
Where virtue lies, that I, imperious,
Long since interred with hope, and all life’s joy save
“I would not have her love a thing so vile,
I would not link her life with such as mine!
O cursed sin, to leave my soul too high
To cheat the shrine!
I drave Love forth, Love lingered yet awhile
So that I might not quite win Hell before I die.” [via]