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The Serpent's GiftGnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion$
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Jeffrey J. Kripal

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226453804

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226453828.001.0001

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Introduction The Serpent's Gift

Introduction The Serpent's Gift

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction The Serpent's Gift
Source:
The Serpent's Gift
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226453828.003.0001

This book is a retelling of sorts of the biblical story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent, this time from the perspective of the snake, or at least at how the author imagines this wisdom figure to be embodied in the modern study of religion and its erotic, humanistic, comparative, and esoteric forms of gnosis. This chapter discusses the modern study of religion, arguing that it can help us to recognize the wise snake, the lovely loving couple, and the angry jealous god among us. It considers the study of religion through faith, reason, and gnosis, and through the premodern, the modern, and the postmodern forms of thought. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   snake, wisdom, Gnostic myth, God, religion, gnosis, religious studies, faith, reason, postmodern

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