Alan Strathern - Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (CUP, 2019)

Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History - Alan Strathern

 

'Why was religion so important for rulers in the pre-modern world? And how did the world come to be dominated by just a handful of religious traditions, especially Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism? Drawing on sociology and anthropology, as well as a huge range of historical literature from all regions and periods of world history, Alan Strathern sets out a new way of thinking about transformations in the fundamental nature of religion and its interaction with political authority. His analysis distinguishes between two quite different forms of religiosity - immanentism, which focused on worldly assistance, and transcendentalism, which centred on salvation from the human condition - and shows how their interaction shaped the course of history. Taking examples drawn from Ancient Rome to the Incas or nineteenth-century Tahiti, a host of phenomena, including sacred kingship, millenarianism, state-church struggles, reformations, iconoclasm, and, above all, conversion are revealed in a new light.'

Find out more at Cambridge University Press.

www.history.ox.ac.uk//article/alan-strathern-unearthly-powers-religious-and-political-change-in-world-history-cup-2019
16/10/2019 11:55:02
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