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The panoramic new history of belief from the celebrated author of A History of the World in 100 Objects.
No society on Earth lacks beliefs about where it has come from, its place in the world, and the connection of individuals to the eternal. Until recently, it was widely assumed that religion was on the wane almost everywhere: now, far from becoming marginalised, the relationship between faith and society has moved to the centre of politics and global conversation. Neil MacGregor's new book and radio series, and the parallel exhibition at the British Museum, trace how different societies have understood and articulated their place in the cosmic scheme.
He examines mankind's beliefs not from the perspective of institutional religions, but by focusing on the shared narratives that have shaped societies - and on what happens when different narratives run up against each other. MacGregor brilliantly turns his kaleidoscope of objects, monuments and ideas to set these pressing contemporary concerns in the long perspectives of time and place.
About the Author
Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since 2002. Before that he was Director of the National Gallery from 1987 to 2002. He was 'Briton of the Year' in 2008.
If I were to permit myself a household shrine, it's likely that it would consist of a silver-framed photograph of Neil MacGregor, a selection of his books and a collection of objects bought at the British Museum shop -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * Neil MacGregor is pre-eminently a teacher. He possesses the teacher's two vital gifts, which are the ability to distinguish things that are interesting from things that are not, and the capacity to change the second category into the first ... a mind-expanding book -- Peter Carey * Sunday Times * He shows how human beings have always used religion and objects as a way to understand the world around us, from finding some accommodation with light, water and the seasons, to attempting to find some approach towards death. ... Anyone wishing to deepen, if not change their life, will certainly benefit from this remarkable book -- Douglas Murray * Evening Standard * The David Attenborough of things that don't move ... Think of it as his Blue Planet -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * Superbly illustrated, with objects and people and places that range far beyond the museum doors, to almost every corner of the world -- Noel Malcolm * Sunday Telegraph * This scholarly, elegantly written book is a reminder of how seldom, when visiting a museum, most of us take the time to inquire into what lies behind the objects we look at. Living with the Gods is a celebration of curiosity -- Caroline Moorehead * Guardian * Our eyes are opened to ways of being human that are unlike anything we could ever experience for ourselves ... Not only is the ancient past made accessible, our present reality is also made strangely questionable -- Angela Tilby * Literary Review * The strength of the book is its thoughtful and sometimes provocative reflections on religion and religiosity through this exceptional range of artefacts -- Linda Hogan * Irish Times *
ISBN: 9780241308295 ISBN-10: 0241308291 Series: On Beliefs and Peoples Audience:
Number Of Pages: 624 Published: 21st September 2018 Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.6
Weight (kg): 1.25
Edition Number: 1