Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples

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Although people around the world hold very different religious and cultural beliefs, how they interact with those beliefs seems fairly consistent across distance and time. Author Neil MacGregor takes us on a far-ranging, vast journey, examining various facets of this interaction and leading us to new and brilliant connections. For at least 40,000 years, and surely longer, people have been expressing their beliefs through art, artifact, and action while trying to discern where we fit in the cosmos by celebrating the elements and, perhaps, influencing the gods. We have developed rituals of harvest, solstice, and spring, and for death and birth. We have ways to interact with deity through prayer, song, and sacrifice. We have sacred spaces and festivals, images and pilgrimages.

The book is filled with beautiful photographs that are rich and fascinating in themselves but become even more powerful with the adroit explanations MacGregor offers in carefully constructed arguments. Readers will leave with a new appreciation and respect for these human devotions. This book is not a text on comparative religions, nor a religious history, but rather a deeply respectful, even reverent, celebration of how the human spirit constantly reaches out to something greater, more transcendent than the everyday world, or perhaps permeates this one, but leads us to a higher plane.


Reviewed By:

Author Neil MacGregor
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 512 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-10-30
ISBN 9780525521464
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2019
Category History
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