At Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog there is a post about N. T. Wright’s attempt to understand where Paul the Apostle was coming from as a committed Pharisee.
Although I distrust Wright’s depiction of the relations of Israel and Rome (because he wants to draw too close an analogy between Rome and capitalist nations today, particularly the United States), much of the material here is excellent. He does imply that Rome forced people to pray to the Emperor. Sometimes they forced people to sacrifice to the Emperor, but people did not pray to the Emperor for supernatural help the way they prayed to other gods.
OK, I’m through nitpicking. Wright is a major proponent of the New Perspective on Paul, and I appreciate the way he tells us about the Pharisees as though he is answering Frequently Asked Questions.