A History of GodPaperback
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- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 560 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 32mm | 420g
- Publication date: 8 January 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0099273675
- ISBN 13: 9780099273677
- Illustrations note: maps
- Sales rank: 10,647
The idea of a single divine being - God, Yahweh, Allah - has existed for over 4,000 years. But the history of God is also the history of human struggle. While Judaism, Islam and Christianity proclaim the goodness of God, organised religion has too often been the catalyst for violence and ineradicable prejudice. In this fascinating, extensive and original account of the evolution of belief, Karen Armstrong examines Western society's unerring fidelity to this idea of One God and the many conflicting convictions it engenders. A controversial, extraordinary story of worship and war, A History of God confronts the most fundamental fact - or fiction - of our lives.
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Karen Armstrong is one of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but then left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a best-selling author of over 15 books. An accomplished writer and passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and the Senate and has participated in the World Economic Forum.
"This is the most fascinating and learned survey of the biggest wild-goose chase in history - the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius" -- A.N. Wilson "A splendidly readable book...the stage is set for the question: has God a future?" -- Sister Wendy Beckett Sunday Times "We are all watching a daily fight between the darkness and light. What we want, but may never get, is assurance that the light will prevail. Armstrong is too tough a thinker to offer us comfort there" -- Anthony Burgess Observer "Armstrong shows a reverent curiosity and a generosity of spirit, refreshing the understanding of what one knows and providing a clear introduction to the unfamiliar" -- Rt Revd Robert Runcie Daily Telegraph "Witty, informative and contemplative: Ms Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic" New York Times Book Review
Whether he is called God, Yahweh or Allah, the idea of a single divine being has existed for over 4000 years. In this wide-ranging, fascinating, readable work Karen Armstrong traces the history and changing nature of the idea of one god. She looks mainly at Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but also at pagan, Hindu and Buddhist conceptions of 'ultimate reality', and at atheism, the rejection of the idea of god. This is not 'a history of the ineffable reality of God itself... but a history of the way men and women have perceived him from Abraham to the present day'. (Kirkus UK)
Over 700,000 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, 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 to 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 volume.