Strange Gods: A Secular History Of Conversion

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Item#: 9781400096398
Author Jacoby, Susan
Cover Paperback
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In a groundbreaking historical work that focuses on the long, tense convergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with an uncompromising secular perspective, Susan Jacoby illuminates the social and economic forces that have shaped individual faith and the voluntary conversion impulse that has changed the course of Western history—for better and for worse. Covering the triumph of Christianity over paganism in late antiquity, the Spanish Inquisition, John Calvin's dour theocracy, American plantations where African slaves had to accept their masters' religion—along with individual converts including Augustine of Hippo, John Donne, Edith Stein, Muhammad Ali, George W. Bush and Mike Pence—Strange Godsmakes a powerful case that nothing has been more important in struggle for reason than the right to believe in the God of one's choice or to reject belief in God altogether.