free read ß PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ò Neil MacGregorParticular kind of water play such a significant role as for Hindus To bathe in the river Ganges is not just to prepare to meet the divine but already to be embraced by it The river Ganges is the goddess Ganga and the waters of this river which govern life and death have not only determined many aspects of Hinduism but in considerable measure shaped the identity of the modern state of India 430 Here Comes the Sun Neil MacGregor continues his series on the expression of shared beliefs in communities around the world and focuses on light He experiences the sunrise whilst inside the monumental stone passage tomb at Newgrange Ireland a structure older than Stonehenge or the pyramids in Egypt Here on the winter solstice thanks to the design of the tomb a bright narrow beam of sunlight reaches deep inside the structure He also considers the story of Amaterasu the Japanese sun goddess whose decision to hide herself in a cave plunged the world into darkness and reflects on how centuries later the image of rising sun became closely linked with Japanese national identity I can recommend Newgrange530 Dependence or Dominion NM focuses on the natural world and seasonal change the Yupik people of Alaska depend on the seal and ancient Egyptians looked to the god Osiris to bring fertility to their arid land Both societies in radically different climates devised practices that acknowledged the fact of their dependence on the natural world and engaged everybody with the responsibility of co operating with it 630 Living with the dead In the British Museum NM focuses on mummy bundles from Peru skeletons wrapped in textiles made of llama wool or cotton For the living these were ancestors with great wisdom and knowledge of the world who could be called pon to help key decision makers He also examines two Chinese ancestor portraits and discovers how and why they were venerated by surviving family members 730 Mother and Child He focuses on how societies and communities seek to protect the newly born and their mothers including the role of St Margaret of Antioch patron saint of childbirth and the A Baby In His Stocking use of protective omamori in Japan 830 Becoming an Adult He focuses on rites of passage marking the transition from childhood to adulthood including a lock of bound hair from the collections of the British Museum which reveals an important ritual for teenage boys on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu910 Lines of Communication He focuses on prayer reflecting on how this most highly individualized of activities is also a profoundly communal act with objects including a 16th century ivory and gold iblased to find the direction of Mecca a function now offered by smartphone apps 1030 The Power of Song He focuses on a Kirchenpelz or church fur a sheepskin coat made in the late 19th century in Transylvania now part of Romania for the German speaking Saxon community there This was not just Sunday Best to wear this coat was to proclaim in public your allegiance to the Lutheran Church and your identity as a Transylvanian Saxon 1130 The House of God Stone tablets in the British Museum detail how a temple was designed and formed in Mesopotamia about 4000 years ago the first sacred space for which we have a written record It was a god s home complete with private areas crafted to meet his every need kitchens and dining rooms family rooms and spaces for guests 1230 Gifts to the GodsHigh in the Andes in Colombia the indigenous Muisca population consigned highly wrought gold figurines to the waters of Lake Guatavita Records of the treasures stored in the Parthenon Athens dating from around 400BC reveal numerous gifts for the goddess Athena gifts with a double role The Parthenon was also a kind of central bank capable of operating as a lender of last resort creating an intimate connection between
temple of a goddess and the finance of the state 1330 Holy Killing Displayed in the British Museum is a crafted Aztec knife dating from around 1500 with a richly decorated handle It had a brutal purpose human sacrifice In ancient Greece animal sacrifice was a vital ritual for connection with the deities the grounds of a Greek temple were in part a sacred public slaughter house 1430 To Be A Pilgrim the expression of shared beliefs in communities around the world and across time and focuses on pilgrimage and its role in Christianity Buddhism and Islam 1530 Festivals their role in shaping a communal identity 1630 The Protectoresses In Mexico the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe came not from the hand of an artist but was directly given from heaven according to its history Our Lady of Guadalupe is now the most powerful of presiding images and the Basilica of Guadalupe near Mexico City is said to be the most visited Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in the world The sanctuary of the goddess Artemis in the great trading city of Ephesus now in western Turkey was by far the most celebrated temple of the antiue Mediterranean and the cult of Artemis spread eastwards towards the Black Sea and westwards towards Spain Artemis was thought to protect the vulnerable at their moments of greatest personal danger 1730 Replicating the Divine For the painter of a Russian religious icon the paramount purpose is the continuation of a tradition in which the painter seeks only to take his proper place creating an image which opens a gateway to the divine The Hindu goddess Durga is at the centre of the popular annual festival of Durga Puja where communities create images of the goddess in everyday materials clay wood straw and oil paint which then are endowed with a transcendental character 1830 The in everyday materials clay wood straw and oil paint which then are endowed with a transcendental character 1830 The of Meaning Our nderstanding of the rock art created by the San people of southern Africa over many centuries is helped by written accounts so that what first appears to be an image of a hunting expedition becomes a record of a spiritual journey into another realm of experience For many years it was a matter of gaze and guess says David Lewis Williams an authority on rock art You gaze at it and if you gaze long enough your guess will take you close to what it s all about and I m afraid that s not the case but we don t have to gaze and guess any In the British Museum a small 19th century Japanese shrine shows the spirits coming to visit a long settled agricultural society The curved doors of a small wooden box open to reveal inside a shimmering world of carved gilded wood and a scene to which Japanese viewers would bring different interpretations 1930 Change Your Life A small He world today Throughout history they have most often been in the widest sense religiousYet this book is not a history of religion nor an argument in favour of faith It is about the stories which give shape to our lives and the different ways in which societies imagine their place in the world Looking across history and around the globe it in. Similar to A History of the World in 100 Objects but this time focusing on religious or indicative of religious events artefacts Especially enjoyableusefulthought provoking for anyone who loves museums and especially docents who guide in museums like the one I guide in with a gallery dedicated to religious art I do think this deserves five stars although in a somewhat weird way it s a different kind of book than I ve ever read before Not rigorous enough to be an academic work but full of scholarly insights on various traditions around the world Not particularly concerned with theology much less faithful to any one religion but greatly respectful of the enormous power for good and ill of all belief systems Not noticeably artistic or poetic than any well written non fiction but often deeply moving simply by virtue of its subject matterA book that reminds the humanist world of religion and the religious world of our common humanity A book that showcases the meaning community beauty strength violence and peace religions can create A book that does not believe that over ten thousand years of human religion will end anytime soon but that is also not overly bothered by that fact and is ltimately rather hopeful about the positive power of religionIs it a book for someone other than a religious ex fundamentalist agnostic myth loving member of a western secular society like myself I have no idea But it is a very good book for me Every known society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions a faith an ideology a religion that goes far beyond the life of the individual and is an essential part of a shared identity Although people around the world hold very different religious and cultural beliefs how they interact with those beliefs seems fairly consistent across distance and time As long as human history has been recorded its surviving material culture has been the product of faith that inescapable human longing to find a pattern to human existence and of course its history and what might come after the ending of individual life No less a philosopher than Rousseau simply stated that no state has even been founded without religion servings as its base Political systems also demand faith nowhere so than with communism and currently many believe that the pragmatic myth of liberal capitalism is dying It is the stimulating mission of this marvellous book which draws no conclusions asking Engineering Thermodynamics uestions rather than providing answers to draw our attention to all the man made things that attempt to portray visions of the invisible world and how humans interact with their imaginings The objects may be stable and solid from the smallest coins and even American dollars are adduced for their religious phrases to vast temples but human reactions are anything but There are no solutions to the humanest here but myriad embodiments of varied hopes expectations and journeys This is another excellent book from Neil MacGregor I have no expertise in this area but as a lay reader I found it a thoughtful erudite and immensely illuminating bookMacGregor takes a similar approach to that in his previous outstanding books A History Of The World in 100 Objects and Shakespeare s Restless World in that he ses artefacts fascinatingly to illustrate his subject basing each brief chapter around a subject which has has religious significance like sacrifice water and so on Thus this isn t a conventional history of religion at all but a very insightful look at the way in which worship in its many diverse forms has played a part in human life from the earliest objects we know of to the present day As always MacGregor makes shrewd penetrating and very humane points leaving s with much to think about It s a great book to read a chapter or two at a time I think and then to come back to The book is beautifully illustrated and MacGregor s A Wedding at the Italians Demand unfussy readable style is a pleasure I can recommend this very warmly This is a beautifully illustrated book which provides a somewhat objective view of our religious shared beliefs and the stories and objects that support them In his comparisons of the shared objects events and beliefs he attempts to show our connectedness with each other despite the resistance and hostility that has and still does manifest itself when there is intolerance for other religions and beliefs This book is truly a stunning journey that spans every corner of the globe with thought provoking exhibitions of religious traditions and objects from 40 000 years agop to the present day I gave this book 5 stars because of the way it made me feel and because it was profoundly aesthetically pleasing from the way the book felt and smelt in my hands to the choice of pictures and p Book Porn I m sorry for the crass title it can t be helped I couldn t think of a better means of describing this book I first saw it in my local Waterstones and pon opening it knew I had to read it The coloured images dispersed amongst the 500 odd pages of Living With The Gods are just one aspect of the care and love that have been put into this text Covering a plethora of beliefs and stories that humans have embodied for many centuries Living With The Gods isthe temple of a goddess and the finance of the state 1330 Holy Killing Displayed in the British Museum is a
a treasure trovetreasure trove incredible information and helpful guidance to the religious and non religious alike My favourite chapter personally but by no means only favourite was discovering about Ethiopias niue Christian heritage victory over colonial Italy claim to the Arc of the Covenant and TIES TO RASTAFARIANISM THERE ARE ONLY ABOUT SIX PAGES to Rastafarianism There are only about six pages this chapter yet it opened A Perfect Evil (Maggie ODell, up a whole world to me I m certain you will have your own similar experiences reading this beautiful book The Beginnings of Belief The programme visits the cave in southern Germany where fragments of ivory were discovered in 1939 These fragments were gradually pieced together by archaeologists decades later to re assemble the figure Some smoothing on the torso suggests that the Lion Man was passed from person to person in the cave230 Fire and State Many societies have seen the mesmerizing phenomenon of fire as a symbol of the divine Neil MacGregor focuses on sacred fire which comes to represent the state itself the perpetual fire in the Temple of Vesta in Rome the great Parsi fire temple in Udvada India and la Flamme de la Nation the Flame of the Nation constantly burning beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris 330 Water of Life and Death In Islam Christianity and Judaism water is an essential part of religious practice But for no faith does water and one. One of the central facts of human existence is that every society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions a faith an ideology a religion that goes far beyond the life of the individual These beliefs are an essential part of a shared identity They have aniue power to define and to divide s and are a driving force in the politics of much of
Oloured wood cut created in the Netherlands around 1500 offers a particularly gruesome rendering of Christ s crucifixion Christ is pictured with blood pouring from his torso his head his legs and his outstretched arms These are not realistically arranged droplets instead we see a flurry of vertical red strokes tightly packed together and evenly spaced Neil MacGregor reflects on the purpose of this imageHe also considers a serene figure of the Buddha a halo behind his head already in his enlightened state 2030 Rejecting the Image A striking cobalt blue mosue lamp from around 1570 shows an Islamic way of doing honour to the word calligraphyIn Jewish religious ceremonies a yad a small silver rod with a little hand and a pointing index finger is sed to follow the text during readings from the Torah to avoid any damage to the delicate parchment 2130 Living with Many Gods n the mid 1840s a Roman earthenware jar was dug from the earth near Felmingham Hall in Norfolk Inside excavators found several belief systems all mixed The Executives Vengeful Seduction (Australian Millionaires, up together for buried in the pot was a jumble of gods deities of different kinds and origins that tells what it meant for people in Roman Britain around the year 250 to be living with many godsThe great ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh includes a narrative with striking similarities to but important differences from the story of Noah in the Bible Here a council of gods is persuaded to nleash a great flood to wipe out humankind 2230 Living with One God Using objects from both ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt Neil examines how one god could become central to worship in these societies 2330 The Other Side of the Leaf the expression of shared beliefs with a focus on societies who believe that they share the landscape with co inhabitants who are not visible but are present Such belief systems can be found in places such as the Pacific island nation of VanuatuIt is difficult Neil MacGregor suggests to express this relationship with the landscape in the English language Words such as spirits gods or beings do not adeuately convey the nature of the co inhabitants and although these co inhabitants cannot always be seen they are always there on the other side of the leaf The four Landv ttir of Iceland2430 Global Gods Local Needs gods can reach new communities and how those communities can then adapt and change the faiths 2530 Gods Living Together the expression of shared beliefs with a focus on how faiths co exist in India 2630 Ruling With The Gods eens and kings may be priests of the gods or their representatives They may be incarnations or even gods themselves Or the relationship may be so close that to divide spiritual from temporal power at all would simply make no sense 2730 Living With No Gods Neil examines a revolutionary clock from around 1795 created in the wake of the French Revolution and designed to mark a new way of living in an age of reason there would no longer be royalism or religion in FranceA poster from the Soviet Union celebrates the apparent triumph of scientific progress the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin floats in space looks out and proclaims There is no God It seems that the heavens are empty of divine beings but full instead of starry promise 2830 Turning The Screw A plain board to be found on a 17th century Japanese roadside offers generous rewards to anyone who informs on Christians At almost exactly the same time a print from France depicts the officially sanctioned destruction of a Huguenot Church just a few miles east of Paris 2930 The Search For A State An over printed coin from 2nd century Jerusalem tells of the failed attempt of shimon bar kokhba to lay claim of Shimon bar Kokhba to lay claim a state for the Jews free from Roman rule while a white cotton flag framed in pale blue flew over Sudan after it had been taken by Mahdist forces and before the Islamic state collapsed in the mid 1890s3030 Living With Each Other He began with the Lion Man an object created 40 000 years ago and now reflects on the present on the future and on hope 5 Living With The Gods5 A History of the World in 100 Objects35 Germany Memories of a Nation4 Shakespeare s Restless World Neil MacGregor s Living with the Gods On Beliefs and Peoples explores objects rituals and places in terms of what they reveal about faith and spirituality Beginning with the 40000 year old Lion Man of Ulm MacGregor takes s on a penetrating and
insightful journey thatjourney that centuries crosses all corners of the globe and interrogates the religious traditions of the past and present with compassion and respectMacGregor was director of the British Museum from 2002 2015 He generously illustrates his text with beautiful color photographs taken primarily from exhibits in the British Museum He deconstructs each exhibit situating it in context and explaining its function in ritual andor as an object of faith with the goal of elucidating how we worship In addition to explaining the role of objects natural phenomena and rituals MacGregor takes s to locations which harbor religious significance sacred spaces pregnant with mystery which presumably functioned as gateways to the supernatural realm These sites include pre historic caves with their cryptic drawings the nderground tomb In Ireland sites include pre historic caves with their cryptic drawings the nderground tomb In Ireland Newgrange the excavation site at Gobekli Tepe in south east Turkey Girsu in Ira Lake Guatavita in the Columbian Andes cathedrals synagogues temples and mosues in Africa Asia the Americas and Europe MacGregor also explores the role of ceremonies prayers festivals and songs as communal activities that bind a people together providing them with a cohesive identity MacGregor s persona is knowledgeable curious non judgmental non dogmatic tolerant immensely humane compassionate sensitive and respectful of the various traditions and cultures Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of this text is the way MacGregor takes an object ritual or ceremony and The Cattlemans Ready-Made Family unveils its similarities with the religious activities a Like MacGregor s other books this is both immensely readable and a testament to his own wide curiosity knowledge and sense of humanity in its broadest sense I hesitated before reading this having no religious sensibility at all and while its focus did make it slightly less absorbing for me personally than either his A History of the World in 100 Objects or Shakespeare s Restless World this approaches faith and religion not via dogma or creed but via objects rituals and places It is thus less tied to British Museum exhibits than the previous books and overall concer. Terrogates objects places and human activities to try tonderstand what shared beliefs can mean in the public life of a community or a nation how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state and how they help give True Colours (Somerset, us our sense of who we areFor in deciding how we live with our gods we also decide how to live with each other.