Going creedless

Elaine Pagels begins Beyond Belief by recounting how, on a chilly February morning in Manhattan, she stepped into a church again after many years of absence. The truths of Nicene Christianity had not suddenly won her over. Rather, she was there because she had lain awake the night before, grief-stricken at the prospect of losing her two-and-a-half-year-old son, who had just been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As she heard the liturgy intoned, she thought, “Here is a family that knows how to face death.” In the following months, she found friendship and solace in the church as she and her husband confronted their son’s death.

 

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