Cascoly Books: Karen Armstrong

Cascoly Books - Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong is a British author and scholar who has made significant contributions to the fields of religion and comparative mythology. Born in 1944 in Worcestershire, England, Armstrong entered a convent at the age of 17 and spent seven years as a Catholic nun before leaving the order in 1969. After leaving the convent, she studied English literature at Oxford University.

Armstrong is perhaps best known for her work in the field of comparative religion, particularly her influential book "A History of God", which explores the concept of God in the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). In addition to "A History of God", Armstrong has authored numerous other books on religion, including "The Battle for God", "The Spiral Staircase" (autobiography), and "Fields of Blood". She has also written for publications such as The New Yorker, The Guardian, and The New York Times.

  • The History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness
  • Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
  • Throughout her career, Armstrong has been committed to promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding. She founded the Charter for Compassion, which aims to foster compassion and empathy across different religions and cultures. In recognition of her contributions to religious and cultural understanding, Armstrong has received numerous awards and honors, including the TED Prize in 2008.

    Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World compares the modern Arab Israeli conflicts with the medieval Crusades, highlighting the similarities and extensive differences
    The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions an excellent history of the 1st millenium BCE providing both a philosophical and historical background to the rise of modern religions.During the ninth century BCE, the people of India, China, the area now known as Israel, and Greece developed religious and philosophical traditions that continue today. This era of intense spiritual activity came to be known as the Axial Age and brought us the figures of Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, and the Hebrew prophets. Religious scholar Karen Armstrong examines the development of these four traditions, which have in common a call for personal responsibility followed by effective action She emphasizes the idea of kenosis. Kenosis is an ancient theological concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will. In the Christian tradition, it's an explanation of the Incarnation. According to Christian doctrine, Philippians 2:7, states that Jesus "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness" while retaining his divine nature. The concept of kenosis has been the subject of theological debate throughout the history of Christianity and has been interpreted in various ways by different theologians.
    The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism is fascinating examination of the history of fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam., showing how what seem to be ancient artifacts are actually a direct result of religion meeting modernity.
    War in the Holy Land: From Meggido to the West Bank is an excellent atlas to accompany this book.
  • Islam: A Short History
  • Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet

    I highly recommended each of these books, and together they form a solid grounding in Islamic history and modern issues. The Muhammad book covers a historical period few westerners had examined

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