Acts Against God: A Short History of Blasphemy

by David Nash.

Published by Reaktion Books, 2020.
Available in hardback or for Kindle.

David Nash is Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University. He has been researching, lecturing and publishing on the history of blasphemy for thirty years, and is author of Blasphemy in Britain (1999) and Blasphemy in the Christian World (2010). He also wrote “Britain’s Blasphemy Heritage” for the Freethinker, published 1 October 2022.

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“A phenomenon that spans human experience, from the ancient world right up to today’s ferocious religious debates, blasphemy is an act of individuals, but also a widespread and constant presence in cultural, political and religious life. Acts Against God is the first accessible history of this crime – its prosecution, its impact and its punishment and suppression. The book begins in ancient Greece with the genesis of blasphemy’s link with the state. From here we move on to blasphemy in the medieval world, in the Reformation and the Enlightenment. The book concludes with the twenty-first century, with individuals and the state seeking to adopt blasphemy as the means to resist the secular and the globalization of culture.” [Amazon blurb]