Living with the gods: on beliefs and people

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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 the Museum’s previous exhibition, Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond.

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.

More about the author

Born in 1946, Neil MacGregor studied languages at Oxford, philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and Law in Edinburgh, before reading History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He lectured at the University of Reading and the Courtauld Institute. In 1981 he became Editor of The Burlington Magazine and Director of the National Gallery in 1987. He was Director of the British Museum from 2002 until 2016.

In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Merit, the UK's highest civil honour. In 2015 he was awarded the Goethe Medal and the German National Prize. In 2018 the radio series Living with the Gods received the Sandford Saint Martin Award for Religious Broadcasting.

  • Product Code: CMC9780241308295
  • AUTHOR: Neil MacGregor
  • NUMBER OF PAGES: 512
  • Dimension: 24cm x 4.4cm x 16.7cm
  • SUBTITLE: British Museum
  • Weight: 125.00 Kg

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 the Museum’s previous exhibition, Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond.

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.

More about the author

Born in 1946, Neil MacGregor studied languages at Oxford, philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and Law in Edinburgh, before reading History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He lectured at the University of Reading and the Courtauld Institute. In 1981 he became Editor of The Burlington Magazine and Director of the National Gallery in 1987. He was Director of the British Museum from 2002 until 2016.

In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Merit, the UK's highest civil honour. In 2015 he was awarded the Goethe Medal and the German National Prize. In 2018 the radio series Living with the Gods received the Sandford Saint Martin Award for Religious Broadcasting.

  • Product Code: CMC9780241308295
  • DIMENSIONS: 24cm x 4.4cm x 16.7cm
  • AUTHOR: Neil MacGregor
  • PAGES: 512
  • Weight: 125.00 Kg
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