Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh

If history has been written by the victors, it’s also generally come from the believers. To balance the record, Whitmarsh joins the theomachists--“battlers of god”—not to disprove divinity but to question the motives, roles, and rules of religion in the ancient world. Early challengers included Socrates, who defied received ideas to advocate independent thought, and Thucydides, who refused to read meaning into signs from the gods. Whitmarsh’s fascinating chronicle reminds us that in classical Greece philosophy filled spiritual needs, and religion was about ritual, not convictions, mortality, not morals, the gods representing humanity’s wish to live forever. Later, rulers were treated as gods for their superhuman (not supernatural) achievements, the first step to the intertwining of religious and state interests in the Roman Catholic empire.

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World By Tim Whitmarsh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307948779
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - October 18th, 2016