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10 thoughts on “A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

  1. says:

    Whew I thought I'd never finish this book But two months later I somehow managed to get to the end Now what to say about itI started this book knowing a moderate amount about the history of Christianity a small amount about Judaism and much too little about Islam I relied heavily on my previous knowledge of Christianity and Judaism to make sense of Armstrong's extremely dense often repetitive and to use her favorite word

  2. says:

    A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH RELIGIONYou may have already thought of a few but this is my current thingReligious thought is metaphorical and the constant danger is that the unlettered will take the metaphor literally For instance the Holy Trinity in Christianity sorting out a satisfactory formula expressing the relationships be

  3. says:

    I still can't decide if it's good or not That's that problem with being kinda dumb

  4. says:

    This is at once a very simple and a very complex book Simple in its argument complex in the array of detail marshalled to t

  5. says:

    This is one of those books that make me feel woefully deficient in a certain subject Having never taken a comparative religion class and in fact bordering on an antiestablishment stance when it comes to organized religion I can only conclude that this book was not the place to start The first couple of chapters which reviewed mankinds evolution from a polythesim to the monothesims of Judiasm Christianity and

  6. says:

    If I could give a book six stars I would give them to this book I feel like I learned something new on nearly every page This book is truly a history book on a grand scale It reminds me of the type of history Will Durrant wrote whe

  7. says:

    The Tendencies of ReligionsA facebook conversationStarted with this post with the following Ambedkar uote The Hind

  8. says:

    Karen Armstrong is a former Catholic nun and studied at Oxford Her book The Spiral Staircase is a good descriptio

  9. says:

    I haven't finished reading the book I still plan to though but not in one sitting The official blurb' Over 700000 copies of the origi

  10. says:

    Nuances Of The Religious Tradition This was a great book that seriously seriously bolstered my understanding of the history of God and has ultimately ignited an interest in me to read further books on the specific areas of religious practice there is a massive 'further reading' section at the back that I look forward to raiding A

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READ & DOWNLOAD ☆ YOUBANG.ME Ú Karen Armstrong

Over 700000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world Judaism Christianity Whew I thought I d never finish this book But two months later I somehow managed to get to the end Now what to say about itI started this book knowing a moderate amount about the history of Christianity a small amount about Judaism and much too little about Islam I relied heavily on my previous knowledge of Christianity and Judaism to make sense of Armstrong s extremely dense often repetitive and to use her favorite word esoteric prose I found it a real challenge to keep up with her train of thought her chapters are very long as well as her paragraphs and she has no sections or headings whatsoever to help prime and guide the reader I came away with a much fuller understanding about the evolution of the concept of God in Christianity and Judaism and a somewhat better understanding of the origins of Islam But not knowing much about Islam to begin with I felt at a disadvantage as I tried to follow along and take in the massive amounts of information she shares This is not the right book to introduce you to any of these religions You will gain much if you already have a moderate level of knowledge On a personal note as I am someone for whom religion organized or otherwise has played very little role in my life for close to ten years this book sparked a great deal of introspective processes for me Some of her writing confirmed my frustrations with organized religions while other portions encouraged me to have a open mind about the innumerable ways to conceive of and worship God I have appreciated this book immensely in this regardA final note Armstrong seems to have considerable beef with Christianity and to an extent Judaism and she considerably elevates Islam above the other two Just a note to be prepared for that if you read this book It didn t bother me too much given that I don t consider myself a member of any of the three faiths or prefer one over the other but I can see how it might really annoy others It s not an attempt to be objective or balanced by any stretch

SUMMARY A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

O the present From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation the Enlightenment and the modern age of skepticism Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volu Karen Armstrong is a former Catholic nun and studied at Oxford Her book The Spiral Staircase is a good description of the struggles that led to her leaving the convent There have been several good books written on the historic Jesus Christ but very few on the historic God As other reviewers have noted this is a somewhat scholarly book which it would have to be if one wanted to thoughtfully trace back man s evolving beliefs on God And yes over a sweep of 4000 years evolving is clearly the correct wordIf you apply the same tools to the study of history of God that one would apply to the study of history of anything over 4000 years you will see it through the lens of different periods of time Perhaps somewhat unfortunately for religion and for God we are in a period marked by the predominance of rationality Ever since Kant philosophers have admitted the existence of a god cannot be logically supported and of course Kant still willingly chose to believeSo where does Ms Armstrong take us in world after Kant Hume Schopenhauer Nietzsche and the like She worries about the intolerance inherent in monotheism if I believe in the one true god your god must be wrong She reminds us that although the Existentialists told us we are better off without god since the pat answers and the certainty that god gives stifles our wonder of the world and negates our freedom the growing drug addiction and crime rates are not signs of a spiritually healthy society Apparently although Ms Armstrong left organized religion she never left her search for spiritualityI found the best statement of her conclusion was actually in The Spiral Staircase Compassion has been advocated by all the great faiths because it has been found to be the safest and surest means of attaining enlightenment because it dethrones the ego from the center of our lives and puts others there breaking down the carapace of selfishness that holds us back from the experience of the sacred Interestingly Huxley who wrote the magnificent Perennial Philosophy on the similarities of mystical experiences across all religions said It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one s life and find at the end that one has no to offer by way of advice than try to be a little kinder A fascinating book that can be recommended to any thoughtful seeker about spiritual matters

READ & DOWNLOAD ☆ YOUBANG.ME Ú Karen Armstrong

And Islam have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God from the time of Abraham t This is one of those books that make me feel woefully deficient in a certain subject Having never taken a comparative religion class and in fact bordering on an antiestablishment stance when it comes to organized religion I can only conclude that this book was not the place to start The first couple of chapters which reviewed mankinds evolution from a polythesim to the monothesims of Judiasm Christianity and Islam were interesting and for me blessedly linear and understandable From there things rapidly deteriorated as Armstrong ran through the impact and thought process that philosophy mysticism reform and enlightenment had on the three monothestic faiths These chapters were filled with dense pondorous examples of each of these disciplines crammed wtih foreign names and terms forcing me to reread pages and chapters still without making much headway I hate to indulge myself this way but to illustrate my point I uote from page 270 a part of a paragraph which starts Luria gave a new meaning to the original image of the exile of the Shekinah It will be recalled that in the Talmud the Rabbis had seen the Shekinah voluntarily going into exile with the Jews after the destruction of the Temple The Zohar had identified the Shekinah with the last sefirah and made it the female aspect of divinity In Luria s myth the Shekinah fell with the other sefiroth when the Vessels were shattered Granted it is taken out of context but it borders on reading a foreign language And it goes onFurther compounding the problem are a lack of any headings on subgroupings in Armstrong s chapters which are composed of paragraphs that run nearly a page long each It is this amount of dense detail that continually makes rereading a necessity rather than a luxury I was tempted on multiple occasions to put this book down and finished with a sense that I had read line for line the entire 2008 federal IRS tax code Overall not the place to start