New book João Gouveia Monteiro

History of Religions: from the origin of the gods to the religions of the future is the title of the new book coordinated by João Gouveia Monteiro, a researcher at CHSC.

Contributors to this book: Fernando Florêncio | Maria Leonor Cruz Pontes | Luís Manuel de Araújo | Angélica Varandas | Laura Martins | Paula Barata Dias | Francisco Diez de Velasco

This book is a journey. And “to travel is to be alive”

Where will we travel? Through a geography that stretches from Scandinavia to Africa and from Brazil to China, with its epicenter in the Fertile Crescent region. The chronology begins in the third millennium B.C. It’s amazing how much influence these religious traditions have had on our culture. Think of the ideas of the Last Judgement, resurrection and Paradise.

Or the revivals to which some of them have given rise, as in the case of the Celtic and Scandinavian worldviews, with their celebration of Nature, visible in Tolkien’s work. Who doesn’t know The Lord of the Rings?

In the first part, six ancient polytheisms are presented: ethnic religions (with examples from Mozambique and Brazil); the religions of Mesopotamia (especially Sumer); the fabulous religion of Ancient Egypt; the cases of the Celts and the Nordics; and the religions of Ancient Greece and Rome, the seeds of the idea of Europe. There is also a chapter on Zoroastrianism – the dual monotheism that was the official religion of Persia for twelve centuries.

In the second part, an experienced hand gives us a preview of the religious models of the future: the theocratic; the official national religion; the radical secular; and the multi-religious. The third part is dedicated to Taoism, the spiritual jewel of Ancient China. Laozi’s Tao Te Ching is, after the Bible, one of the most translated books in the world. Its continuator, Zhuangzi, has also amazed many Western thinkers, from Heraclitus to Heidegger.

It’s worth the experience of reading it. As Tolkien wrote, “not all who wander are lost”. We have therefore produced a rigorous and very didactic work. Come on board with us, because – as Eduardo Lourenço used to say – “the journey is more important than the destination”!