Please reccomend a book

by mankkeli 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • mankkeli

    Would anyone reccomend a good material on

    (1) The history of the world

    (2) The history of religion.

    I am just interested in Man's development over the years to create GODS for himself, any good book would be appreciated, and a review of the book highlighting a short summary is also welcome.

  • Retrovirus

    Hi Mankkeli

    Here's an oldie but goodie - The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer. At 858 pages it's a big read, but it certainly kept me turning the pages. Frazer is a good scholar and you'll appreciate the difference between his extensive and painstaking research and what the wt calls research. Whether or not you agree with his conclusions you'll learn a lot about rites, mythology and the history of religions.

    Summary from Wiki:

    The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship of, and periodic sacrifice of, a sacred king.

    This king was the incarnation of a dying and reviving god, a solar deity who underwent a mystic marriage to a goddess of the Earth, who died at the harvest, and was reincarnated in the spring. Frazer claims that this legend is central to almost all of the world's mythologies.

    The germ for Frazer's thesis was the pre-Roman priest-king at the fane of Nemi, who was murdered ritually by his successor:

    "When I first put pen to paper to write The Golden Bough I had no conception of the magnitude of the voyage on which I was embarking; I thought only to explain a single rule of an ancient Italian priesthood." (Aftermath p vi)

    The book's title was taken from an incident in the Aeneid, illustrated by the British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner: Aeneas and the Sibyl present the golden bough to the gatekeeper of Hades in order to gain admission.

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    I was gonna say The Grapes of Wrath, Under the Dome, and The Stand, but then saw your criteria.

  • palmtree67

    Anything by Elaine Pagels for the history of Christianity.

    I find her very unbiased.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Beautiful Losers

    Leonard Cohen

    A 'history' of Christianity in Canada

  • soft+gentle

    the Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.

  • soft+gentle

    In the Power of NOw---"you become connected to the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death" --- after you read this book you will see what religon is all about.

  • Hortensia

    I read The Golden Bough years ago, really enjoyed it. Thanks for reminding me.

  • behemot

    Check this:

    A History of God is a best-selling book by Karen Armstrong. It details the history of the three major monotheistic traditions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Also included in the book are Buddhism and Hinduism. The evolution of the idea of God is traced from its ancient roots in the Middle East up to the present day.

  • leavingwt

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