Interfaith conference features Princeton religious historian

A photo of the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Image Credit: Valerie Wojciechowski

Best known as the author of "The Gnostic Gospels," and "The Origin of Satan," Elaine Pagels will share her faith journey during the West Michigan Academic Consortiums's 2019 Interfaith Academic Consortium Conference.

The conference, sponsored by Grand Valley's Religious Studies Program and the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, will be held October 30, from 2-8:30 p.m. at the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. 

The event is free and open to the public; registration is required at

Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and an American religious historian. She has published widely on Gnosticism and early Christianity. 

Her memoir, "Why Religion? A Personal Story" focuses on her own deep loss and her search for answers in faith and spirituality. Her 6-year-old son died in 1987 and her husband died in 1988.

Pagels has won several prestigious awards, including a Rockefeller fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur Prize fellowship. 

The conference will include two lectures, "What do 'secret gospels' suggest about Jesus and His teaching?" and "Why Religion?" 

For more information, contact the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at (616) 331-5702.