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.
Jonathan Kirsch is a fine storyteller with a flair for rendering ancient tales relevant and appealing to modern audiences. God Against the Gods finds him in good form, retelling lively stories about the struggle of monotheists against polytheists (and vice versa) from biblical times until the fourth century A.D. when Theodosius the Great outlawed pagan worship and made the Catholic version of monotheism the Roman Empire's state religion. Admirers of the author's earlier books, including Moses: A Life, King David and The Harlot by the Side of the Road, will find much to admire here. Richard E. Rubenstein