Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $21.26

Buy Now for $21.26

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Three thousand years ago, in the Southwest Asian lands we now call Israel and Palestine, a group of people worshipped a complex pantheon of deities, led by a father god called El. El had 70 children, who were gods in their own right. One of them was a minor storm deity, known as Yahweh. Yahweh had a body, a wife, offspring and colleagues. He fought monsters and mortals. He gorged on food and wine, wrote books and took walks and naps. But he would become something far larger and far more abstract: the God of the great monotheistic religions.

But as Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou reveals, God’s cultural DNA stretches back centuries before the Bible was written, and persists in the tics and twitches of our own society, whether we are believers or not. The Bible has shaped our ideas about God and religion, but also our cultural preferences about human existence and experience; our concept of life and death; our attitude to sex and gender; our habits of eating and drinking; our understanding of history. Examining God’s body, from his head to his hands, feet and genitals, she shows how the Western idea of God developed. She explores the places and artefacts that shaped our view of this singular God and the ancient religions and societies of the biblical world. And in doing so, she analyses not only the origins of our oldest monotheistic religions but also the origins of Western culture.

Beautifully written, passionately argued and frequently controversial, God: An Anatomy is cultural history on a grand scale. 

©2021 Francesca Stavrakopoulou (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic Reviews

"Rivetingly fresh and stunning." (Sunday Times)

"A tour de force, a triumph." (Catholic Herald

"One of the most remarkable historians and communicators working today." (Dan Snow) 

What listeners say about God

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Long but insightful

The story is quite full of differing views to the origins of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian “God.” It provides a great developmental background in how the modern version “God” came into being. Quite a lot of what the author is stating makes sense, and can be quite plausible. Unfortunately, this story is very long, and very hard to follow, and bounces quite abruptly behind timelines, and various stories. This story is full of sex, war, and human greed, lust and jealously.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P. Overton
  • P. Overton
  • 21-09-2021

Poor narration distracts.

Although I'm familiar with the Professor's accent and way of speaking, I think she should have left the narration of this book to a professional.

The reading is too fast and too many words are STRESSED in each sentence. The speed can be corrected in the player, but the speech pattern quickly becomes irritating.

It may also be helpful to download its Kindle Sample which contains a map of the region. Sadly, there is no accompanying PDF.

This is a valuable book -but it may be better to buy in a different medium.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for W. Ullah
  • W. Ullah
  • 30-10-2021

Not worth it!

The title is eye catching but the obsession with small points, finding contractions, and unending explanations was just too repetitive.
The content is not worth listening to. I lost interest after first 15 minutes and regretted the purchase.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam Spiers
  • Adam Spiers
  • 22-09-2021

Excellent!

Bringing the most recent biblical scholarship to bear in a popular level book was always going to be a triumph for Francesca Stavrakopoulou. This is an excellent book, frequently funny, always informative. I can think of many people who should read it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FrankByNature
  • FrankByNature
  • 25-11-2021

Richly revealing

A satisfyingly scholarly book by a leading authority. Detailed and thoughtful content delivered with superb clarity makes this a great listen for religious believers and atheists alike. Expertly read by the author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R Jarrald
  • R Jarrald
  • 20-11-2021

Excellent narration, fascinating account

This is a wonderfully told account, forensically examining the body of the God of the Bible. Well researched and unyielding it explores well known stories in so many ways it is sure to expand your current thoughts. It has garnered praise and recognition from believers and non-believers alike. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joe Miller
  • Joe Miller
  • 25-10-2021

Interesting premise but needlessly infuriating

I was interested in listening to this after hearing the serial on BBC Radio 4 but found the whole work to be trite and deliberately controversial at times for no reason other than to be controversial. I found myself perpetually frustrated by it but not stimulated. Certainly worth remembering it takes a very “protestant” approach to what it calls Christian Theology.

I feel the premise is an incredibly good one and could have added a significant amount to the topic but fails in many respects. Without taking a literary and critical view of spiritual texts (which could be done to balance the specific point of the writer) it misses some key points.

I take issue with the word “real” often used to describe the image that it presents. Very fee theologians worth their salt would present a work claiming to have truth or “real” interpretation and that for me makes this work more troubling. A real shame for what could have been great.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.