An Anatomy - As heard on Radio 4
A learned but rollicking journey through every aspect of Yahweh's body. A book that will offend some but delight more. * Economist Best Books of the Year * Rivetingly fresh and stunning . . . I rather like this inexhaustibly powerful, shouting, bearded giant of a God, a fiery, fierce and startlingly pagan God, alive to his very fingertips, laughing at human hubris and singing with unbridled joy. -- Christopher Hart * Sunday Times * Lively . . . [with] a wealth of scholarly detail and much gusto -- Rowan Williams * New Statesman * Professors of Theology are imagined to be dull, gentle souls. This book, however, is a great rebel shout . . . A book that aims to upend the notion of a cloudy, spiritualised creator . . . instructive, vivid and frequently hilarious. * Economist * A marvelous conspectus of references to the divine body in ancient southwest Asian texts. But more than this, it is about recalibrating our understanding of these difficult texts to better understand ourselves. -- Simon Yarrow * Literary Review * God: An Anatomy is a tour de force. Stavrakopoulou has created not just an extraordinarily rich and nuanced portrait of Yahweh himself, but an intricate and detailed account of the cultural values and practices he embodied, and the wider world of myth and history out of which he emerged . . . Stavrakopoulou has taken to heart the biblical injunction to seek the face of God, and what emerges is a deity more terrifyingly alive, more damaged, more compelling, more complex than we have encountered before. More human, you might say. -- Mathew Lyons * New Humanist * Stavrakopoulou is no literalist indeed, shes an atheist but she maintains that her reading makes far more sense than the traditional ones, and her confident tone never falters. -- Dan Hitchens * The Times * A detailed and scrupulously researched book . . . packed with knowledge and insight -- Karen Armstrong * The New York Times * Boldly simple in concept, God: An Anatomy is stunning in its execution. It is a tour de force, a triumph, and I write this as one who disagrees with Stavrakopoulou both on broad theoretical grounds and one who finds himself engaged with her in one narrow textual spat after another . . . A stunning book. -- Jack Miles * Catholic Herald * The sheer amount of primary evidence examined is staggering . . . Stavrakopoulous argumentation is intellectually penetrating, analytically robust, and sophisticated . . . Stavrakopoulous book, and her public-facing scholarship, demonstrate what makes an outstanding biblical scholar. * Church Times * Good Lord, Stavrakopoulou touches that sweet spot that is scholarly, funny, visceral and heavenly. A revelation. -- Adam Rutherford, author of <i>A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived</i> and <i>How to Argue with a Racist</i> One of the most remarkable historians and communicators working today. -- Dan Snow In both Judaism and Christianity God is conceived as non-physical. In God: An Anatomy Francesca Stavrakopoulou shows that this was not yet so in the Bible, where God appears in a much more corporeal form. This provocative work will surprise and may shock, but it brings to light aspects of the biblical account of God that modern readers seldom appreciate. -- John Barton, Emeritus Professor at Oriel College, Oxford and author of <i>A History of the Bible</i> In Stavrakopoulou's stunning dissection of historical religious texts, the real back-story and context of the God of Judaism and Christianity is revealed . . . Where pious theologians have abstracted him into emptiness, Stavrakopolou gives him back his substance, and hes so much more interesting in this bodily form! Both scholarly and accessible, and full of fascinating stories - I guarantee youll never think of this God the same way again. -- Professor Alice Roberts Marvelous and stimulating . . . scholarly and beautifully illustrated . . . an exciting read! * Methodist
Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou studied theology at Oxford and is currently Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter. The author of a number of academic works, she also presented the BBC 2 documentary series The Bibles Buried Secrets. She regularly appears on BBC1s The Big Questions and Sunday Morning Live, and has appeared on several Radio 4 shows, including Womans Hour, The Infinite Monkey Cage and The Museum of Curiosity. She writes for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, and the Times Literary Supplement, and has spoken about the Bible, religion, and atheism at numerous public events, including the Cheltenham Science Festival, the World Humanist Congress, and Conway Halls annual London Thinks festival. Her contribution (on the same subject as God: An Anatomy) to Dan Snows History Hits podcast is currently its most popular ever episode.