Sea of Reads

Peripatetic, itinerant, eclectic musings about books, politics, history, language, culture, and anything else that interests me.

Karen Armstrong

The only Karen Armstrong book I’ve read was The Battle for God, but I’ve long wanted to read all her books. And she has written a lot of books.


Here is Armstrong’s profile on Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED.com):

Religious thinker Karen Armstrong has written more than 20 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and how our faiths shaped world history and drive current events.

A former nun, Armstrong has written two books about this experience: Through the Narrow Gate, about her seven years in the convent, and The Spiral Staircase, about her subsequent spiritual awakening, when she developed her iconoclastic take on the major monotheistic religions — and on the strains of fundamentalism common to all. She is a powerful voice for ecumenical understanding.

Armstrong’s 2008 TED Prize wish asks us to help her assemble the Charter for Compassion, a document around which religious leaders can work together for peace. In late fall 2008, the first draft of the document was written by the world, via a sharing website.

In February 2009 the words of the world were collected and given to the Council of Conscience, a gathering of religious leaders and thinkers, who are now crafting the final document. The Charter will be launched in November 2009.

“I say that religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.”

Karen Armstrong on Powells.com

That’s a definition of religion I can get behind.

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One comment on “Karen Armstrong

  1. Chief
    October 29, 2009

    I have two Karen Armstrong books in my bookcase. One is “Islam” which I read and could understand. The other, “A History of God” is totally incomprehensible. I got lost so many times, I eventually gave up on it.

    I know she is a bright person. However, I find Elaine Pagels much more readable.

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2009 by in Religion and Spirituality.
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