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Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples
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Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 488 pages
Published September 17th 2018 by Allen Lane
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Roman Clodia
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like MacGregor’s other books this is both immensely readable and a testament to his own wide curiosity, knowledge and sense of humanity in its broadest sense. I hesitated before reading this having no religious sensibility at all and while its focus did make it slightly less absorbing for me personally than either his A History of the World in 100 Objects or Shakespeare's Restless World, this approaches faith and religion not via dogma or creed but via objects, rituals and places. It is thus les ...more
Sid Nuncius
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is another excellent book from Neil MacGregor. I have no expertise in this area, but as a lay reader I found it a thoughtful, erudite and immensely illuminating book.

MacGregor takes a similar approach to that in his previous outstanding books, A History Of The World in 100 Objects and Shakespeare’s Restless World, in that he uses artefacts fascinatingly to illustrate his subject, basing each brief chapter around a subject which has has religious significance like sacrifice, water and so on.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: bbc radio listeners

1/30: The Beginnings of Belief: The programme visits the cave in southern Germany where fragments of ivory were discovered in 1939. These fragments were gradually pieced together by archaeologists decades later to re-assemble the figure. Some smoothing on the torso suggests that the Lion Man was passed from person to person in the cave.

2/30: Fire and State: Many societies have seen the mesmerizing phenomenon of fire as a symbol of the divine. Neil MacGrego
Tamara Agha-Jaffar
Neil MacGregor’s Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples explores objects, rituals, and places in terms of what they reveal about faith and spirituality. Beginning with the 40,000-year- old Lion Man of Ulm, MacGregor takes us on a penetrating and insightful journey that spans centuries, crosses all corners of the globe, and interrogates the religious traditions of the past and present with compassion and respect.

MacGregor was director of the British Museum from 2002-2015. He generously illu
Mar 16, 2018 marked it as to-read
OMG, a new book coming out soon?! I have to buy it!!! 😍😍😍 have been waiting for ages
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Neil MacGregor is the writer one has longed for: a master of the story of mankind, history told in small bites and great photos, language like music, and a soaring sense of compassion.
The book begins with a 40,000 year old Lion Man sculpture, found in a cave near the Danube...
and ends with a small cross, made by a carpenter on Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island, which has become the goal for tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, desperate to reach a Europe which does not want to receive t
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous reading for these long dark evenings. Beautiful words elegantly strung together in sentences surrounding images of prescient meaning. I wish they hadn't dragged Grayson Perry into it though, he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable and informative in sections. Not as good as his previous book but still utilising similar ground - artefacts from the British Museum collection.

Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting overview of belief systems all over the world. The photos perfectly illustrate the text and add to the reading pleasure.
Feb 17, 2018 marked it as to-read
I went to the exhibition that ties in with this book. My review of the exhibition is here:
Tim Donaldson
rated it did not like it
Dec 06, 2018
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book on different aspect of religion and how it shapes our life.
It's full of great illustrations and surely give you a lot of food for thought.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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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 ...more