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Beards and Funny Hats: Who Is Worshipped in Religion, and What God Has Got to Do With It

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Length: 1,152 pages18 hours

Summary

Religion is … what? A way of thinking, an explanation of things that exist, a code of behaviour and morals, a social network? Perhaps a style of dress, and certain kinds of music. Surely included in it is adoration or fear of someone. Also some things that aren’t normally thought of as religion—works of art and of science —frequently offer such praise, even when the object of this isn’t recognized or identified. There are those who maintain that any religion has as much usefulness and value, or as little, as any other, and that they can be exchanged and combined, and this is probably true. Except for Christianity. But Christianity isn’t so much a religion—it’s more an expression of reality.

This can be seen as a religious book, and even as a statement of religious conservatism. At the same time it is part literary criticism, part ideas history. No doubt there is something in it that almost anyone could disagree with. For those to whom the term will mean something, it may be considered an attempt at a spiritual mapping of culture.

The culture looked at is mainly that of Europe and the west. The things examined are grouped according to the working of those imposing spiritual powers—enemies of man—that are listed in some books of the Bible.

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