These essays address commonly recognised, but little understood aspects of the Judaeo-Christian tradition: the creation myth; patriarchal biblical figures; sainthood; Heaven above and Hell below; the Marys-virgin and whore; New Age fascinations; apocalyptic prophecies and several other topics of contemporary interest. The urge to shape belief is instinctive, culturally nurtured, and draws strands from multiple sources. Myth-making, Norman Maclean says, thrives even in a secular age. He writes in a conversational tone to engage with readers and inspire in depth study from the mass of available literature. But rarely is an overview presented in a single volume that permits a casual inquirer to pick their way through and come back to areas of interest.