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“A wonderfully illuminating, prodigious tour de force of ecclesiastical anthropology.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
“Selina O'Grady has written a powerful book on an immense subject. She writes with clarity and distinction and is a pleasure to read.” ―Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times, A History of Christianity and A History of the American People
“Selina O' Grady's remarkable book brilliantly explains the origins of today's world by explaining the forces that set it in motion 2000 years ago…In a pellucidly clear and absorbing narrative O'Grady not only describes how religions were used by empires to bind new populations to them, but most fascinatingly of all explains how what she calls the ‘tiny Jesus cult' managed to survive its inauspicious beginnings to become a world religion.” ―Rebecca Fraser, author of A People's History of Britain and Charlotte Brontë: A Writer's Life
“This vividly compelling account of how Christianity rose triumphant from the religious and civil tumults of its earliest days is a must read. With cinematographic force it brings that epoch so astonishingly and educatively to life that no-one should be allowed to lay claim to Christian or indeed any religious faith who has not read this book first, and meditated on its import. It lays the facts bare, unsparingly and with a sharp eye; and the facts speak very loudly for themselves.” ―A.C. Grayling, author of Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age and The Good Book: A Humanist Bible
“In this remarkably interesting and vividly written book Selina O'Grady shows how four great empires of the Axial age - the Roman, Parthian, Kushan and Chinese - used religion, with its universal claims on human aspiration and destiny - to extend their power and legitimate their rule by creating compliant or "good" subjects under the expanding economic and social conditions…This is an important book - written from outside the perspective of belief - that helps to explain the enduring appeal of religion in our supposedly secular age.” ―Malise Ruthven, author of Islam in the World and The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America
It would take another book to detail the knowledge I received from this book. Putting Jesus'life into the historical reality of his time makes his rise in the religious world more... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Judy
I quite enjoyed both the general overview / idea of the book, and the specific examples given in many of the chapters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jonny a
This is a fascinating book. The information was not exactly what I expected, since the title sounds more philosophical, than purely historical. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ray Levi
Incredible! O'Grady's scholarship is to be applauded, but better yet is her fluid, sublime writing style. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kristina Volker
I definitely learned aap lot from the book. However, the understanding of Paul and early Christianity's development could have used more research. Read morePublished 11 months ago by David A. Wilson Jr.
The title is somewhat of a misnomer. The subtitle is the better title. It is an extensive history of much of the world a little before the time of Christ and a little after. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bruce Bothwell
Thoughtful and learned essay. It makes you think while giving you loads of historical info. It plunges you into the time when Jesus was born. A must.Published 12 months ago by FRISONI GIOVANNI