God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism

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Penguin, 2005 - Religion - 336 pages
6 Reviews
As conflicts over religious extremism dominate our front pages, the bestselling author of The Harlot by the Side of the Road presents a work of history that could not be more timely: a surprising look back at the origins of religious intolerance during the tumultuous fourth century.

This is the epic story of how classical paganism, with its tolerance for many deities and beliefs, lost a centuries-long struggle with monotheism and its chauvinistic insistence on belief in one God. With his trademark blend of wit and scholarship, Kirsch traces the war of God against the gods from its roots in Ancient Egypt to its climax during the last stand of paganism the tumultuous fourth century, when two passionate, charismatic, and revolutionary Roman emperors, the Christian Constantine and the pagan Julian, changed the course of history and shaped the world we live in today.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

The story of the suppression of polytheistic religions in the ancient world by the ever more powerful monotheistic religions is well known. Kirsch (The Harlot by the Side of the Road) offers his own ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

A superficial and boring account of monotheism and polytheism in antiquity. It doesn't even come close to living up to its fancy title. The book contains miscellaneous historical anecdotes but not any ... Read full review

Contents

THE GOD THAT FAILED
19
What Did Pagans Do?
39
Terror and True Belief
65
Confessors and Traitors
93
THE WAR OF GOD AGAINST THE GODS
117
The Harlot in the Bishops Bed
147
The Ruler of the Whole World
169
The Orphans of Macellum
193
The Secret Pagan
213
Behold the Rivers Are Running Backwards
237
The Handless Scribe
269
Chronology
285
Notes
293
Bibliography
315
Index
323
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Jonathan Kirsch is a book columnist for the Los Angeles Times and author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed King David, Moses, The Harlot by the Side of the Road, and The Woman Who Laughed at God. He lectures and consults widely on biblical, literary, and legal topics and is a past president of PEN Center USA West.

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