And Man Created God: Kings, Cults and Conquests at the Time of Jesus

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Atlantic Books, Limited, Sep 1, 2012 - Religion - 416 pages
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At the time of Jesus's birth, the world was in ferment. Across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia - societies rife with gods and messiahs, priests and warriors - the old certainties of family, village and tribe were being overturned. Religion was becoming the source of order and stability.

And Man Created God takes the reader on a dazzling journey across the empires of the ancient world to reveal how emperors and kings manipulated religion to consolidate their power. In Rome, Augustus was deified by his brilliant spin doctors; in what is now Sudan, the warrior queen Amanirenas exploited her godlike status to inspire her armies to face, and defeat, Rome; while in China, the usurper Wang Mang won and lost the throne over his obsession with Confucianism.

In this riveting account of the interplay of faith and power, Selina O'Grady answers the most urgent question of all: how did the tiny Jesus cult triumph over more popular religions - the goddess Isis, the miracle worker Apollonius, even the cult of Augustus - to become the world's dominant faith?

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Review: And Man Created God: Kings, Cults and Conquests at the Time of Jesus

User Review  - Sarah Lambie - Goodreads

Interesting history, and fulfilling in terms of putting Christianity into perspective with the other cults of the time - particularly made me think about Saul/Paul, and I'd love to find a more ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Selina O'Grady has had a lifelong interest in history and religious affairs. She was a producer of BBC1's moral documentary series Heart of the Matter presented by Joan Bakewell, Channel 4's live open-ended chat show After Dark and was also a producer on Radio 4's history series Leviathan. She has reviewed regularlyfor the San Francisco Chronicle, Literary Review and Tablet, specialising in works of popular history. She is the co-editor of two books: Great Spirits: The Fifty-Two Christians who Most Influenced their Millennium (ranging from Bach to Martin Luther King), and A Deep But Dazzling Darkness, an anthology from Anglo-Saxon to modern times of the experience of belief and disbelief.

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