Elaine Pagels

presents

Why Religion?:
A Personal Story

in conversation with ARUN RATH

This event includes a book signing

Date

Nov
8
Thursday
November 8, 2018
6:00 PM
(Doors at 5:30)

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

$29.75 (book included) - On Sale Now $6.00 (general entrance) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome preeminent academic ELAINE PAGELS for a discussion of her latest book, Why Religion?: A Personal Story. She will be joined in conversation by WGBH and NPR correspondent ARUN RATH.

About Why Religion?

Why is religion still around in the twenty-first century? Why do so many still believe? And how do various traditions still shape the way people experience everything from sexuality to politics, whether they are religious or not? In Why Religion? Elaine Pagels looks to her own life to help address these questions.

These questions took on a new urgency for Pagels when dealing with unimaginable loss—the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband. Here she interweaves a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how, for better and worse, religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face.

Drawing upon the perspectives of neurologists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as her own research, Pagels opens unexpected ways of understanding persistent religious aspects of our culture.

A provocative and deeply moving account from one of the most compelling religious thinkers at work today, Why Religion? explores the spiritual dimension of human experience.

Praise

“In this compelling, honest, and learned memoir, Elaine Pagels, takes us inside her own life in a stirring and illuminating effort to explain religion’s enduring appeal. This is a powerful book about the most powerful of forces.” —Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America

“With characteristic intelligence and wisdom, Elaine Pagels lays bare her own life-shattering losses, offering up the possibility that suffering might afford each of us membership in a profoundly connected human—and cosmic—community. Why Religion? is a revelation and an immense consolation.” —Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States

“Elaine Pagels has written an extraordinary memoir of loss, spiritual struggle, illumination and insight—emotionally heartrending, intellectually exciting, a model of what a memoir should be.” —Joyce Carol Oates

Arun Rath
Arun Rath

Arun Rath

Arun Rath is a correspondent for NPR and WGBH News. Previously he served as weekend host of All Things Considered. Over his career, Rath has distinguished himself in public media as a reporter, producer, and editor, including time as a senior reporter for the PBS series Frontline and The World on WGBH Boston. In 2000, he became senior producer for NPR's On the Media, produced by WNYC, where he was part of a team that tripled its audience and won a Peabody Award.

Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels

Elaine Pagels

Elaine Pagels is a preeminent academic whose impressive scholarship has earned her international respect. The Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, Pagels was awarded the Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Fellowships in three consecutive years. She is the author of The Gnostic GospelsBeyond Belief, and Revelations.

Tickets are available online only at harvard.com and harvardbookstore.eventbrite.com. All tickets for this event include a $5 coupon for use in the bookstore. Pre-sale tickets include a copy of Why Religion?. Books bundled with pre-sale tickets may only be picked up at the venue the night of the event, and cannot be picked up in-store beforehand.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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