Elaine Pagels

  • Elaine Pagels (Wikipedia)
  • The Gnostic Gospels (Wikipedia)
    Some scholars, such as Edward Conze and Elaine Pagels, have suggested that gnosticism blends teachings such as those attributed to Jesus Christ with teachings found in Eastern traditions.... Conze has suggested that Hindu or Buddhist tradition may well have influenced Gnosticism. He points out that Buddhists were in contact with the Thomas Christians....

    Pagels notes that the similarities between Gnosticism and Buddhism have prompted some scholars to question their interdependence and to wonder whether "...if the names were changed, the 'living Buddha' appropriately could say what the Gospel of Thomas attributes to the living Jesus" however, she concludes that, although intriguing, the evidence is inconclusive and she further concludes that these parallels might be coincidental, since parallel traditions may emerge in different cultures without direct influence....

    Pagels has written that "one need only listen to the words of the Gospel of Thomas to hear how it resonates with the Buddhist tradition… these ancient gospels tend to point beyond faith toward a path of solitary searching to find understanding, or gnosis." She suggests that there is an explicitly Indian influence in the Gospel of Thomas, perhaps via the Christian communities in southern India, the so-called, Thomas Christians.
  • The Gnostic Paul (Wikipedia)
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