London, Allen Lane, 2018. Hardback with dustjacket, xxiii+488 pages. New.
Based on the award-winning BBC Radio 4 series, Neil MacGregor’s Living with the Gods: On Beliefs and Peoples is a wide-ranging and thorough exploration of the human capacity for belief and its manifestation as faith, ideology or religion. Looking across history and across the planet, Living with the Gods investigates the stories which give shape to our lives; explores objects, places and human activities in order to understand how shared beliefs influence the public life of a community or nation, how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state, and how they help give us our sense of who we are. Richly illustrated with colour and monochrome images, this book’s vast scope explores religious behaviour such as pilgrimage and prayer; festivals, our relationship with deities and the dead; politics and traditions, myths and folklore. A fascinating book which deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in cross-cultural and historical belief in all its forms.