The book I chose to read is called The Origin of Satan, by Elaine Pagels. The reason why I chose this book out of the entire list is because it was the only one on the list not dealing with masculinity or femininity. I was not raised as a Catholic (although I was baptized) or as a Jewish person, so the idea of Satan to me was only what I had experience through television or what other people in my life have described him as. So I was eager to learn the exact origin of his character and how he became personified as the red man who appears on one of your shoulders every time you think about doing something bad. .
In the following paragraphs I do summarize a lot of the text however keep in mind that I did not know any of this information before reading this book. Therefore while I mention a decent amount I will be commenting on the information I present opposed to writing a summary and then commenting afterwards.
At first I did not understand why you chose this book to put on the list, but as I was reading the introduction Elaine Pagels states, " I want you to consider Satan as a reflection of how we perceive ourselves and those we call "others" Satan defines negatively what we think of as human." (xviii), I realized that this book is not concisely about where Satan originated but instead is more about how a human being psychologically reflects Satan. In the book Satan is described in numerous ways including the opposition to god, a messenger of god, a quality within ourselves that we project onto other people(which I agree with most), and ultimately all Jewish and pagan people who reject the idea that Jesus was their messiah.
This book begins by describing the situation in which the first gospel was written apparently by Mark who was an associate of the apostle Peter. Pagels writes that the gospel was written at the end of a three year war between the Jews and the Romans approximately around 69 A.