Now I'm getting the chance to read books I didn't have time for before. Think of me whenever you see the slogan "So many books, so little time!" Now I've got the time.  Cheers, Fred.

Why Religion? A Personal Story

Book Number: 
Date Fred Read: 
February 2019
Fred's Rating: 
Elaine Pagels
Total Pages: 
Harper Luxe

Elaine Pagels taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she chaired the department of religion. She is now the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the author of several books on religious subjects and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981. (For her books I've read, click on her name.)

I bought the paperback edition but I give here the Amazon website for the Kindle edition, for it contains the 3-pp Introduction and the first eleven pages of the 45-pp Chapter 1 – Why Religion?:

[None of the ISBN-10, ISBN-13, or ASIN numbers on Amazon’s websites for the three editions (Kindle, hardcover, or paperback) are recognized by Amazon, thus the ‘no image Circle' appears. I think this new change by Amazon is not good. However, you can see the images of this book's covers at the website above.]

The home page begins with a very good summary of this book (click on the 'Read more' option). The second paragraph is not in bold face type but what it says about the “unimaginable loss'” she experienced was enough to make this book an emotionally powerful must-read for me. Since I was already convinced of this, I didn't mind that the Kindle edition's 'Look inside' option only has the first eleven pages of her 45-pp Chapter 1. These first eleven pages are about her childhood and her parents and grandparents and these pages are enough to show that her writing is indeed her personal story, told with an open heart. That makes it a treasure.

Further down the home page is a brief but important excerpt from the book's back cover. The excerpt is about how great personal tragedy can reveal how important religion can be – this is brief and very well stated. Further down the home page there are many good 'Top customer reviews.' My favorite one is the first one by 'Santiago Escobedo” entitled “Hope, Always Hope.” Elaine Pagels has indeed shared so much in this very-hard-to-put-down book.

Enough said! I rate this book at five stars, but with my added comment to ‘think six stars.'