Best-selling author Elaine Pagels to explore Christianity’s historical landscape

Elaine PagelsJoin Case Western Reserve University for the 2014 F. Joseph Callahan Distinguished Lecture featuring Elaine Pagels, religion scholar and best-selling author of The Gnostic Gospels; Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation; and other respected works.

The free and public event begins at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20, in Severance Hall. Free tickets are available by calling 216.231.1111 or visiting

In her keynote talk, Pagels will draw from her latest book, Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation, and share the insights found in Revelation, the final book of the Bible’s New Testament.

Since 1982, Pagels has been the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She has received prestigious Rockefeller, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships to support her writing and research.

Pagels’ major work, The Gnostic Gospels, changed the historical landscape of the Christian religion by challenging the myth of the early church as a unified movement. She tells the story of the early church through her interpretation of 52 early Christian manuscripts discovered in Upper Egypt by a farmer digging for fertilizer who unearthing a clay jar filled with the papers. The documents reveal a diverse community of thinkers, including a look at the roles of women, before the church became unified and structured.

Pagels earned both the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award for The Gnostic Gospels.

The 2014 event is presented with additional support from the university’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Reserve free tickets by calling 216.231.1111 or visiting For more details, visit

About the Lecture:

The F. Joseph Callahan Distinguished Lecture, introduced in 2005 as the Distinguished Lecture Series, is an annual event that engages the Greater Cleveland community in discourse on important topics of our time. In 2010, the event was named in honor of Francis Joseph Callahan Jr., local business leader, philanthropist and chairman emeritus of Swagelok, a leading fluid system manufacturer headquartered in Solon, Ohio.