Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples

Cover of the book, Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples.

Written by:

Published by: Allen Lane

★★★★★
★★★★★

4.29, based on 163 reviews.

Goodreads says:

One of the central facts of human existence is that every society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions - a faith, an ideology, a religion - that goes far beyond the life of the individual. These beliefs are an essential part of a shared identity. They have a unique power to define - and to divide - us, and are a driving force in the politics of much of the world today. Throughout history they have most often been, in the widest sense, religious.Yet this book is not a history of religion, nor an argument in favour of faith. It is about the stories which give shape to our lives, and the different ways in which societies imagine their place in the world. Looking across history and around the globe, it interrogates objects, places and human activities to try to understand what shared beliefs can mean in the public life of a community or a nation, how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state, and how they help give us our sense of who we are.For in deciding how we live with our gods, we also decide how to live with each other.

Waterstones says:

A panoramic exploration of peoples, objects and beliefs over 40,000 years from the celebrated author of A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany, following the new BBC Radio 4 documentary and British Museum exhibition.

One of the central facts of human existence is that every society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions - a faith, an ideology, a religion - that goes far beyond the life of the individual. These beliefs are an essential part of a shared identity. They have a unique power to define - and to divide - us, and are a driving force in the politics of much of the world today. Throughout history they have most often been, in the widest sense, religious. Yet this book is not a history of religion, nor an argument in favour of faith. It is about the stories which give shape to our lives, and the different ways in which societies imagine their place in the world.

Looking across history and around the globe, it interrogates objects, places and human activities to try to understand what shared beliefs can mean in the public life of a community or a nation, how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state, and how they help give us our sense of who we are. For in deciding how we live with our gods, we also decide how to live with each other.


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
4.29 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)
5 47% (76 ratings)
4 38% (62 ratings)
3 13% (22 ratings)
2 1% (2 ratings)
1 1% (1 ratings)

About Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor was born in Glasgow to two doctors, Alexander and Anna MacGregor. At the age of nine, he first saw Salvador Dalí's Christ of Saint John of the Cross, newly acquired by Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which had a profound effect on him and sparked his lifelong interest in art. MacGregor was educated at Glasgow Academy and then read modern languages at New College, Oxford, where he is now an honorary fellow. The period that followed was spent studying philosophy at the École No...
[Read more about Neil MacGregor]


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