Elaine Pagels

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Religious Author
Date of Birth February 13, 1943
Place of Birth California
Age 78 years old
Horoscope Aquarius

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Elaine Pagels

Elaine Pagels, née Hiesey, is an American religious historian. She is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Pagels has conducted extensive research into early Christianity and Gnosticism. Her best-selling book The Gnostic Gospels examines the divisions in the early Christian church, and the way that women have been viewed throughout Jewish history and Christian history. Modern Library named it as one of the 100 best books of the twentieth century.

Born: Elaine Hiesey, 13, 1943, Palo Alto, California, USA
Nationality: American
Institutions: Princeton University, Barnard College
Alma mater: Stanford University (B.A, 1964, M.A, 1965), Harvard University (Ph.D, 1970)
Known for: Nag Hammadi manuscripts, Early Christianity
Notable awards: MacArthur Fellowship (1981), National Book Award (1980), National Book Critics Circle Award (1979), Guggenheim Fellowship (1979), Rockefeller Fellowship (1978), Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities (2012)
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About Elaine Pagels

The New York Times Bestselling author of Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003), she is a prominent scholar and author on the subject of the Gnostic Gospels. Her works include Reading Judas (2007) and Revelations (2012).

Before Fame

She studied religion at Stanford and Harvard. She later taught at Barnard College and Princeton University.


Her 1979 work, The Gnostic Gospels, won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Family Life

She had two children with theoretical physicist, Heinz Pagels, whom she married in 1969.


She was influenced by author Ernest Hemingway.

Information related to Elaine Pagels

  • Historians of Gnosticism
  • Writers from Palo Alto, California
  • American historians of religion
  • American religion academics
  • National Book Award winners
  • Harvard Divinity School alumni
  • American theologians
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Latest information about Elaine Pagels updated on March 08, 2021.

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