Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living with the Gods by Neil MacGregor review – the nature of belief

By Caroline Moorehead
The Muisca raft, a gold pre-Colombian votive figure, is displayed at the Museo del Oro in Bogotá. Photograph: Thierry Falise/LightRocket/Getty Images
From stones laid 11,000 years ago to modern Japanese temple offerings … reflections on objects and faith. Neil MacGregor has chosen to open his new book with a statement of what it is not. Living with the Gods, he writes, is neither a history of religion, nor an argument in favour of faith, nor a defence of any one belief. Rather, it is an attempt to define the nature of belief, the way it influences people and the countries they inhabit, and to show how fundamental it is in explaining who we are and where we came from. For, as he says, it is in deciding how we live with the gods that we decide how to live with each other. [More]
Neil MacGregor with the Yaxchilan lintel. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian