As a young
researcher at Barnard College, Elaine Pagels changed forever the historical
landscape of the Christian religion by exploding the myth of the early
Christian Church as a unified movement. Her findings were published
in 1979 in the best selling book, The Gnostic Gospels, which
won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award.
The is was followed later that year with her selection as one of the
first three recipients of the MacArthur Award.