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Elaine Pagels, Author and Theologian, Presenting FREE Lecture Tuesday, 4/11, 7:00 PM

April 9, 2017 @ 9:00 am - April 11, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

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Dr. Elaine Pagels
Dr. Elaine Pagels

Best-selling author and theologian Elaine Pagels is visiting First United Methodist Church of Boulder as a Theologian-in-Residence during Holy Week. During her time in Boulder, Dr. Pagels will present a free public lecture, “What’s Satan Got To Do With it? A Hidden Side of the Passion Story,” on Tuesday, April 11, at 7:00 pm in our sanctuary. No tickets or reservations are required, and absolutely everyone is welcome.


In her lecture, Dr. Pagels ponders the influence that the figure of Satan still exerts in our modern worldview. How does Satan–apparently a fictional, incidental figure in the gospels–still shadow our views of gender, race, and politics? This talk explores a hidden side of the passion story–one with ongoing social and political consequences.


Rev. Matthias Krier, Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Boulder, explains that “(i)t has been scholars like Elaine Pagels that have kept pastors like me in the church with her outstanding biblical scholarship. I am deeply indebted to her for her work.”


When Elaine Pagels was a doctoral student in religion at Harvard University, she was asked “Why have you come?” Pagels replied that she was trying to find the essence of Christianity. Throughout her career, Pagels, who is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, has tried to find this essence through the study of early Christianity. Along the way, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and she has authored numerous books including the best-selling The Gnostic Gospels. Other notable titles include The Origin of Satan, the New York Times bestseller, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, and Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.


In addition to her public lecture on April 11, Dr. Pagels will also lead the Forum, a Sunday morning adult education class, on April 9 at 9:00 am in our church parlor. The focus of her Forum presentation will be Christianity’s Secret Gospels. This short and personal forum explores secret gospels discovered in Egypt in 1945, and the different ways they tell the story of Jesus, and what one of them calls “the true gospel (good news).” The Forum is free and open to all.


Dr. Celene Lillie, Executive Director of the Tanho Center for A new New Testament, a partner organization in residence at First United Methodist Church of Boulder, states that “Dr. Pagels’ work not only transformed the world of scholarship on early Christianity, but made it accessible to the public at large. Her work has inspired countless people across the globe, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to host her at FUMC.”


Dr. Pagels will be our Theologian-in-Residence here at First United Methodist Church April 9-16. The Theologian-in-Residence (TIR) program offers visiting theologians the hospitality of the church’s Mountain Haven Retreat House in Rollinsville, CO, in exchange for the theologian sharing their knowledge with the congregation. TIRs have ranged from academics such as Pagels to liturgical dancers, musicians, clergy, and lay people with interests in spiritual formation. The TIR program was conceived as a reverse sabbath for the visiting theologian; they share their gifts with the church community one to two times per week, and enjoy the rest of their time for rest, renewal, and study at Mountain Haven.


Dr. Pagels’ visit will be a highlight of the year! Please don’t miss the opportunity to spend time with one of the most respected and influential theologians of our time!


April 9, 2017 @ 9:00 am
April 11, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
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First United Methodist Church of Boulder


First United Methodist Church of Boulder
1421 Spruce Street
Boulder, CO 80302 United States
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