Contrary to Popular Belief
Did early Christianity evolve from Roman culture and customs? Was it based on truth? Were the social issues of the early Roman Empire a driving force to adapt old customs to a new philosophy?
A young Hebrew man seeks answers beyond his religious traditions by spending fifteen years travelling and studying spiritual principles in India and Alexandria, Egypt. Upon returning to his homeland his message of self-awareness is feared by the elders and Temple priests. At the same time the ruling elite in Rome are determined to use this controversy to their advantage. Keen to find a solution to the social and economic issues that have developed after their relentless conquests of foreign lands, they find that the young man’s spiritual message can be altered to suit their needs.
Contrary to Popular Belief is a thought-provoking novel inspired by Christian faith, and the quest for truth.
Today I’m reviewing Contrary To Popular Belief by Neil Anthes.
Many thanks to Clink Street Publishing, Neil Anthes and blog tour organiser Rachel Gilbey for the ARC copy of the book in return for an honest review.
This interesting novel follows a young Hebrew man who seeks answers beyond the traditions that control his life and religious beliefs. It also tells the story of how the Roman elite came to use the development of Christianity for their own ends. It’s a story that is full of a wealth of historical detail and it’s what I liked about this book. I love Roman history in all its glory and it made it a fascinating read.
He brings to the pages of this novel the violence and corruption at the heart of the Empire. In the character of Brutus, he gives us a symbol of a society threatened by the decadence at its very soul. In the young Hebrew man he writes a character that symbolises the redemptive nature of Christianity. Its certainly interesting how Neil Anthes explains how Roman officials saw Christianity as the means to save their society from ultimate ruin.
I’m not religious in anyway and the depth of information about its development might put some readers off. If I had one criticism of this novel, is that it seems to struggle to find a genre to define it. The wealth of historical information almost floods out the fictional narrative. In places it reads more like a non fiction book than a fictional novel.
It is though a thought provoking read. If you love history, especially the development of Christianity, then you really should give this book a try.
If you would like to win a paperback copy of this book, please leave a comment and I will do a draw to pick the winner. Sorry its limited to UK entries only.
The book can be bought from Amazon
Neil Anthes is a retired small business owner and international business manager. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Canada with a bachelor of science degree. He is a semi-professional photographer and currently lives in the Southern Interior of British Columbia Canada. This is his second book. The first, Moments in Time, Reflections on Personal Mystical Experiences, was published in 2014.
Neil can be followed on his author website