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Publisher's Summary

An astonishing and revelatory history that re-presents God as he was originally envisioned by ancient worshippers - with a distinctly male body, and with superhuman powers, earthly passions, and a penchant for the fantastic and monstrous.

"[A] rollicking journey through every aspect of Yahweh’s body, from top to bottom (yes, that too) and from inside out ... Ms. Stavrakopoulou has almost too much fun.” (The Economist)

The scholarship of theology and religion teaches us that the God of the Bible was without a body, only revealing himself in the Old Testament in words mysteriously uttered through his prophets, and in the New Testament in the body of Christ. The portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as merely metaphorical, figurative, or poetic. But, in this revelatory study, Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a vividly corporeal image of God: a human-shaped deity who walks and talks and weeps and laughs, who eats, sleeps, feels, and breathes, and who is undeniably male.

Here is a portrait - arrived at through the author's close examination of and research into the Bible - of a god in ancient myths and rituals who was a product of a particular society, at a particular time, made in the image of the people who lived then, shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world. From head to toe - and every part of the body in between - this is a god of stunning surprise and complexity, one we have never encountered before.

©2021 Francesca Stavrakopoulou (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Brilliant . . . Fascinating . . . 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 . . .  Great fun to read . . . A stunning book.”—Jack Miles, Catholic Herald

“This book is a great rebel shout. . . [A] rollicking journey through every aspect of Yahweh’s body, from top to bottom (yes, that too) and from inside out . . . Ms. Stavrakopoulou has almost too much fun.”—The Economist

“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, author of A History of the Bible

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Starkly frank look at Himself

Dr. Stavrakopoulou comes uniquely enabled among a discipline warped by faith. She never believed any of it. It is fascinatingly unobstructed when she exhibits a breathtaking knowledge of all that has been...God.

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