Battling the Gods by Tim Whitmarsh

I want to thank Faber & Faber, as well as Net Galley for sending me an advance readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As I have previously mentioned in my blog, I became an atheist last year after trying to find myself. If I had read this book sooner, along with The God Delusion, I think I might have reached that decision earlier! The full title is Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World, and it tells the story of Atheism through Greek and Roman antiquity, up until the dominance of Christianity.

There were times when I couldn't decide in my own mind what the writers view was. The book was billed as being a history of Atheism, and so it is, but sometimes it read like a defence of the polytheistic cultures. It became obvious that this wasn't the case the further I got into the book, and I did really enjoy this enlightening, resourceful history.

Some parts shocked me to the core, especially after the Romans accepted the Church as it's true religion. Some of those emperors were just plain evil to non-believers and polytheists alike. It makes me wonder how we, as a civilised world, can go from almost complete acceptance as long as nothing is said against other belief systems to completely and totally shunning those with any belief except the Christian one. It was eye-opening and shocking.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone questioning their beliefs, agnostics and atheists as it is very honest about how things used to be and also, to a point, how atheism came about. It has 100% reinforced my own atheism!

Star rating: 4 from 5

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