Taming the Gods by Ian Buruma
I ventured into non-fiction not too long ago but this is one of the first political-religious books I bought. I heard Ian Buruma speak at Jaipur Literature festival and was very interested in reading this one in particular. He talks about how religion helped form civilizations and also broke them up. And today, we come at a stage where we hold democracy on a pedestal and as an ‘ideal’ way to govern. It’s interesting to read how religion comes into play in all of this.
The book goes at length to describe the situations of how Christanity spread, moving on to China and it’s history. We see examples of modern times and countries like United States but also of Middle Eastern countries their political dilemmas.
The book is filled with little anecdotes throughout the history, which it what makes it intelligent and a bit humourous at times. It helps give you a global overview of religion and politics without going into too much detail.
I particularly liked reading about the religious history of China and Japan as that was something I hadn’t come across before.
Ultimately, it is the authors view that if we want humane society, democracy is a must but it must also some how allow religion to play a role, albeit not overpower.
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Also Read : A Japanese Mirror by Ian Buruma, OCCIDENTALISM No UK Rights Edition by Ian Buruma