A World Full of Gods by Keith Hopkins
The Strange Triumph of Christianity

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Synopsis

In this provocative, irresistibly entertaining book, Keith Hopkins takes readers back in time to explore the roots of Christianity in ancient Rome. Combining exacting scholarship with dazzling invention, Hopkins challenges our perceptions about religion, the historical Jesus, and the way history is written. He puts us in touch with what he calls "empathetic wonder" -- imagining what Romans, pagans, Jews, and Christians thought, felt, experienced, and believed -- by employing a series of engaging literary devices. These include a TV drama about the Dead Sea Scrolls; the first-person testimony of a pair of time-travelers to Pompeii; a meditation on Jesus' apocryphal twin brother; and an unusual letter on God, demons, and angels.
 

About Keith Hopkins

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Keith Hopkins is a professor of ancient history at King's College, Cambridge, and a fellow of the British Academy.
 
Published August 8, 2000 by Free Press. 416 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A World Full of Gods

Kirkus Reviews

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And Hopkins challenges not only the Jesus Seminar, but many orthodox believers as well, with his bold claims that the Gospel writers (and the Church Fathers who participated in the process of canonization) didn’t want to make Jesus easily “understood.” The Gospels, he claims, did not ever intend ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Judging by sober historical criteria, Hopkins fails to provide a convincing explanation of why Christianity defeated its rivals among the mystery cults, Gnostics and Hellenized Jews in Roman antiquity.

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AV Club

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Cambridge-based ancient-history professor Keith Hopkins has said that his book A World Full Of Gods was inspired by an argument that ensued when he and three friends tried to agree on a uniform view of the early years of Christianity.

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London Review of Books

Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem, thanks to a Roman census, on a day corresponding to 25 December, at the end of a year corresponding to 1 BC, that all those fireworks, a few weeks ago, were marking his 2000th birthday in a meaningful way, that his mother was a virgin, ...

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Project MUSE

The collection of Roman erotic drawings in the Naples museum has been relegated to a "secret cabinet," segregated from other Roman art in a way that no pagan Roman would have done.

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Project MUSE

In this book, Cambridge historian Keith Hopkins seems to write for a non-scholarly audience, perhaps the same audience that will meet him through his contribution to a BBC series on gladiators.

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