Living With the Gods

Living With the Gods

On Beliefs and Peoples

Unknown - 2018
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"One of the central facts of human existence is that every known 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 favor of faith. It is about the stories that 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, [this book] 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. In deciding how we live with our gods, we also decide how to live with one another."--Dust jacket.
"Until fairly recently, religion as a major influence on the nature of individual societies around the world seemed to be on the wane. Now, far from being marginalized, the relationship between faith and society has moved to the center of politics and global conversation. Neil MacGregor's new book traces the ways in which different societies have understood and articulated their places in the cosmic scheme. It examines mankind's beliefs not from the perspective of institutional religions but according to how shared narratives have shaped societies--and what happens when different narratives run up against each other. As he did in A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation, MacGregor brilliantly combines objects, places, and ideas to examine and, ultimately, illuminate these pressing contemporary concerns"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2018]
Edition: First United States edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018.
ISBN: 9780525521464
Characteristics: xxiii, 488 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm


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