Powered by

After her son and husband died, Elaine Pagels wondered why religion survives

Nov 06, 2018 - Washington Post Blogs

A rare lung disease killed Elaine Pagels's 6-year-old son, and then about a year later her husband fell to his death while mountain climbing. After that Job-like run of tragedies, no one would have blamed Pagels if she had decided to "curse God and die."

But she held on. Through rage and terror and despair so overwhelming that it made her faint, she held on.

"I had to look into that darkness," she says at the opening of her new memoir, "Why Religion?" "I could not continue to live fu...