Searching for: "Karen Armstrong"

  • Karen Armstrong

    Brought to you by Penguin. 'One of our best living writers on religion' Financial Times 'Karen Armstrong is a genius' A.N. Wilson 'Karen Armstrong is one of the handful of wise and supremely intelligent commentators on religion' Alain De Botton In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today? And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost? Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war and terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    From one of the world’s leading writers on religion and the highly acclaimed author of the bestselling A History of God, The Battle for God and The Spiral Staircase, comes a major new work: a chronicle of one of the most important intellectual revolutions in world history and its relevance to our own time. In one astonishing, short period – the ninth century BCE – the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity into the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China; Hinduism and Buddhism in India; monotheism in Israel; and philosophical rationalism in Greece....read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha—now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place. Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life. The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion” and close with “Love...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present. While many historians have...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time, when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. Why has God become unbelievable? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    St. Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. But as Karen Armstrong demonstrates in St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the world than any other figure in history. It was Paul who established the first Christian churches in Europe and Asia in the first century, Paul who transformed a minor sect into the largest religion produced by Western civilization, and Paul who advanced the revolutionary idea that Christ could serve as a model for the possibility of transcendence. While we know little about some aspects of...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    Today the Quran is used by some to justify war and acts of terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception. The significance of Scripture may not be immediately obvious in our secular world, but its misunderstanding is perhaps the root cause of many of today's controversies. In this timely and important book, one of the most trusted and admired writers on the world of faith examines the meaning of Scripture. The sacred texts have been coopted by fundamentalists, who insist that they must be taken literally, and by others who interpret Scripture to bolster their own prejudices. These texts are seen...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    From the best-selling author of Islam: A Short History comes an important addition to the Eminent Lives book series. A former Roman Catholic nun and winner of a Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award, Karen Armstrong shows how Muhammad's life can teach us a great deal about our world. More is known about Muhammad than any other major religion founder, yet he remains mysterious. Born in 570 CE, he spent six decades spreading his message of peace and compassion. Yet for many people today, their knowledge of Muhammad is rife with misconceptions and misinformation, often fueled by bigotry. Armstrong sets the record straight, shattering the myth that Islam is a religion of cruelty and...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    This rich, timely, and highly original portrait of the Buddha explores both the archetypal religious icon and Buddha the man. In lucid and compelling prose, Armstrong brings to life the Buddha’s quest, from his renunciation of his privileged life to the discovery of a truth that he believed would utterly transform human beings and enable them to live at peace in the midst of life’s suffering. Buddha also expands to focus and meditate on the culture and history of the time, as well as the Buddha’s place in the spiritual history of humanity, and the special relevance of his teachings to our own society as we again face a crisis of faith. “[P]enetrating,...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    Best-selling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad's flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world as Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    As the work at the heart of Christianity, the Bible is the spiritual guide for one out of every three people in the world. It is also the world's most widely distributed book-it has been translated into over 2,000 languages-and the world's best-selling book, year after year. But the Bible is a complex work with a complicated and obscure history. Made up of sixty-six 'books' written by various authors and divided into two testaments, its contents have changed over the centuries. The Bible has been transformed by translation and, through interpretation, has developed manifold meanings to various religions, denominations, and sects. In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong...read more

  • Karen Armstrong

    What are myths? How have they evolved? And why do we still so desperately need them? The history of myth is the history of humanity; our stories and beliefs, our curiosity and attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. Myths help us make sense of the universe. Armstrong takes us from the Palaeolithic period and the myths of the hunters right up to the "Great Western Transformation" of the last five hundred years and the discrediting of myth by science. Heralding a major series of retellings of international myths by authors from around the world, Armstrong's characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking...read more