What ancient polytheistic religions can teach us about building inclusive and equitable futures
At the heart of this book is a simple comparison: monotheistic religions are exclusive, whereas ancient polytheistic religions are inclusive. In this thought-provoking book, Maurizio Bettini, one of today’s foremost classicists, uses the expansiveness of ancient polytheism to shine a bright light on a darker corner of our modern times.
It can be easy to see ancient religions as inferior, less free, and remote from shared visions of an inclusive world. But, as Bettini deftly shows, many ancient practices tended to produce results aligned with contemporary progressive values, like pluralism and diversity. In Praise of Polytheism does not chastise the modern world or blame monotheism for our woes but rather shows in clear, sharp prose how much we can learn from ancient religions, underscoring the limitations of how we view the world and ourselves today.
About the Author
Maurizio Bettini is Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Siena, where he is Director of the Center for the Anthropology of the Ancient World. He is author of more than twenty scholarly books and five novels, including winners of the Prix Bristol des Lumières and the Premio Letterario Mondello.
"Posits that polytheism, and Roman polytheism in particular, can help societies navigate political, social, and religious diversity." — Publishers Weekly
"This small book is excellent for high school and college students, enthusiasts of the history of religions, and anyone who is curious about interreligious dialogue and its difficulties. This book is highly recommended. One will find none better." — World History Encyclopedia