❮PDF / Epub❯ ☃ Battling the Gods ✐ Author Tim Whitmarsh – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk How new is atheism Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith dis How new is atheism Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith disbelief in the gods in fact originated in a far remote past In Battling the Gods Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean a world almost unimaginably different from our own to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinitiesHomer’s epic poems of human striving journeying and passion were ancient Greece’s only “sacred texts” but no ancient Greek thought twice about uestioning Battling the PDF or or mocking his stories of the gods Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters from the devotional to the atheos or “godless” Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers as well as the less well known Diagoras of Melos perhaps the first self professed atheist; Democritus the first materialist; Socrates executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of SamosataBefore the revolutions of late antiuity which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might there were few constraints on belief Everything changed however in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity’s establishment as Rome’s state religion in the fourth century AD As successive Greco Roman empires grew in size and complexity and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals states sought to impose collective religious adherence first to cults devoted to individual rulers and ultimately to monotheism In this new world there was no room for outright disbelief the label “atheist” was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy—and so it would remain for centuriesAs the twenty first century shapes up into a time of mass information but also paradoxically of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking By shining a light on atheism’s first thousand years Battling the Gods offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own and indeed its own heroes From the Hardcover edition.
- 304 pages
- Battling the Gods
- Tim Whitmarsh
- 01 February 2015 Tim Whitmarsh