KAREN ARMSTRONG

Britain’s greatest religious historian chronicles the rise and rise of fundamentalism. One of the most potent forces bedevilling the modern world is religious extremism, and the need to understand it has never been greater. Focusing in detail on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism from sixteenth century Spain onwards and Muslim fundamentalism over the last four hundred years, Armstrong examines the patterns that underlie fundamentalism. These evolve from the clash between the conservative pre-modern mind that is governed by a love of myth, and the progressive rational society that relishes change. Fundamentalists view the contemporary world with horror, rejecting its claims to truth, and a state of war now exists over the future of our culture. They are not terrorists, rather, they are innovative, existing in a symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each urging the other on to greater excess. The Battle for God is original in its thesis and in its understanding; as a history of religious ideas it is fascinating, and as an explanation of one of the most destabilizing forces at large in the world today it is extraordinary. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780006383482
KES 1,590
In our supposedly secular age governed by reason and technology, fundamentalism has emerged as an overwhelming force in every major world religion. Why? This is the fascinating, disturbing question that bestselling author Karen Armstrong addresses in her brilliant new book The Battle for God. Writing with the broad perspective and deep understanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for A History of God, Armstrong illuminates the spread of militant piety as a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history. Contrary to popular belief, fundamentalism is not a throwback to some ancient form of religion but rather a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world. As Armstrong argues, the collapse of a piety rooted in myth and cult during the Renaissance forced people of faith to grasp for new ways of being religious–and fundamentalism was born. Armstrong focuses here on three fundamentalist movements: Protestant fundamentalism in America, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran–exploring how each has developed its own unique way of combating the assaults of modernity. Blending history, sociology, and spirituality, The Battle for God is a compelling and compassionate study of a radical form of religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780345391698
KES 1,430
The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world. Translated into over two thousand languages, it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years alone. In this seminal account, Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years. Karen Armstrong begins her analysis with the origins of the very earliest books of the Hebrew Bible, in which God was called both ‘Yahweh’ and ‘Elohim’. She then traces the development of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to reveal the disparate influences that helped to form these sacred texts. From the Jewish practice of Midrash and the Christian cult of Jesus; to the influence of Paul’s letters on the Reformation and the manipulation of Revelations by Christian fundamentalism, Armstrong explores the contexts in which these sixty-six books were understood and explains the social needs they answered. In the process she reveals an unfamiliar and paradoxical work that will permanently alter our understanding of the Bible. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9781782396406
KES 1,450
There is widespread confusion about the nature of religious truth. For the first time in history, a significantly large number of people want nothing to do with God. Militant atheists preach a gospel of godlessness with the zeal of missionaries and find an eager audience. What has happened? Tracing the history of faith from the Palaeolithic Age to the present, Karen Armstrong shows that meaning of words such as ‘belief’, ‘faith’, and ‘mystery’ has been entirely altered, so that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God – and, indeed, reason itself – in a way that our ancestors would have found astonishing. Does God have a future? Karen Armstrong examines how we can build a faith that speaks to the needs of our troubled and dangerously polarised world. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780099524038
KES 1,690
It is the most persistent myth of our time: religion is the cause of all violence. But history suggests otherwise. Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to disprove the link between religion and bloodshed. * Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists. * The West today has a warped concept of religion: we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed people’s entire outlook on life, and often been inseparable from politics. * Humans undoubtedly have a natural propensity for aggression: the founders of the largest religions – Jesus, Buddha, the rabbis of early Judaism, the prophet Muhammad – aimed to curb violence and build a more peaceful and just society, but with our growing greed for money and wealth came collective violence and warfare. * With the arrival of the modern all-powerful, secular state humanity’s destructive potential has begun to spiral out of control. Is humanity on the brink of destroying itself? Fields of Blood is a celebration of the ancient religious ideas and movements that have promoted peace and reconciliation across millennia of civilization Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9781847921871
KES 1,450
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. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN: 9780099273677
KES 1,550
A History of Jerusalem should be read, not only by travellers and potential travellers in Jerusalem, but by all of us.’ Stephen Tummin, Daily Telegraph Jerusalem has probably cast more of a spell over the human imagination than any other city in the world. Held by believers to contain the site where Abraham offered up Isaac, the place of the crucifixion of Christ and the rock from which the prophet Muhammed ascended to heaven, Jerusalem has been celebrated and revered for centuries by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Such is the symbolic power of this ancient city that its future status poses a major obstacle to a comprehensive regional peace in the Middle East. In this comprehensive and elegantly written work, Karen Armstrong traces the turbulent history of the city from the prehistoric era to the present day. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780006383475
KES 990

HOLY WAR

No rating
Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God, skillfully narrates this history of the Crusades with a view toward their profound and continuing influence. In 1095 Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and reconquer the Holy Land. Thus began the holy wars that would focus the power of Europe against a common enemy and become the stuff of romantic legend. In reality the Crusades were a series of rabidly savage conflicts in the name of piety. And, as Armstrong demonstrates in this fascinating book, their legacy of religious violence continues today in the Middle East, where the age-old conflict of Christians, Jews, and Muslims persists. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780385721400
KES 1,690
The foundation stone of Jewish and Christian scriptures, the power of the Book of Genesis lies in its stories – Creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. These ancient tales illuminate some of our most enduring and profound problems: cowardice, the struggle with evil, the difficulty of facing past mistakes, achieving a true understanding of our innermost selves. Karen Armstrong traces the themes and meanings of these stories, examining what they can still tell us about the human quest for meaning. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780099555476
KES 1,350

MUHAMMAD HB

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Muhammad was born in 570 CE, and over the following sixty years built a thriving spiritual community, laying the foundations of a religion that changed the course of world history. There is more historical data on his life than on that of the founder of any other major faith, and yet his story is little known. Karen Armstrong’s immaculately researched new biography of Muhammad will enable readers to understand the true origins and spirituality of a faith that is all too often misrepresented as cruel, intolerant, and inherently violent. An acclaimed authority on religious and spiritual issues, Armstrong offers a balanced, in-depth portrait, revealing the man at the heart of Islam by dismantling centuries of misconceptions. Armstrong demonstrates that Muhammad’s life–a pivot point in history–has genuine relevance to the global crises we face today. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780007232451
KES 1,050
After seven years of hoping but ultimately failing to find enlightenment, Karen Armstrong left her early life as a nun. She knew almost nothing of the changed world she was entering, and was tormented by panic attacks and inexplicable seizures, existing somewhere between the mildly eccentric and the tragically certifiable. Her attempts to reach happiness seemed doomed to fail repeatedly. Temporary respite of a sort was discovered in encounters with some remarkable friends and colleagues and with the extraordinary few who, like herself, seemed somehow separated from the world. Finally diagnosed with epilepsy and given proper treatment, she began the writing career that would become her true calling. Written with startling perception and astonishing sensitivity, The Spiral Staircase is an exploration of one woman’s painful journey to find herself and claim her place in the world. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9780007122295
KES 1,400
Drawing on a wide range of material – ranging from the spiritual character of the world religions to the findings of contemporary neuroscience – Karen Armstrong argues that compassion is hardwired into our brains, yet is constantly pushed back by our more primitive instincts for selfishness and survival. Since time immemorial religion has enhanced our altruistic tendencies: all faiths insist that the Golden Rule is the test of true spirituality – ‘Always treat others as you wish to be treated yourself’. Taking as her starting point the teachings of the great world religions, Karen Armstrong demonstrates in twelve practical steps how we can bring compassion to the forefront of our lives. These steps both reveal the inadequacies of our knowledge of ourselves and others and enable us to unlock our potential for understanding, empathy and altruism that can be translated into acts of kindness and charity.They culminate in the most radical and challenging of all religious maxims – love your enemy. Yet in today’s world, compassion in no longer a luxury but, in the words of Martin Luther King, ‘an absolute necessity for our survival’. Practising these steps will not change our lives overnight and turn us into saints or sages: the attempt to become a more compassionate human being is a lifelong project. Yet Karen Armstrong argues that compassion is inseparable from humanity, and by transcending the limitations of selfishness on a daily basis we will not only make a difference in the world but also lead happier, more fulfilled, lives. Author: Karen Armstrong ISBN:9781847921581
KES 1,290

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