The Case for God by Karen Armstrong

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Synopsis

A nuanced exploration of the part that religion plays in human life, drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.
 
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 ancestors?

Answering these questions with the same depth of knowledge and profound insight that have marked all her acclaimed books, Armstrong makes clear how the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level.  Yet she cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide answers that lie within the competence of human reason; that, she says, is the role of logos. The task of religion is “to help us live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there are no easy explanations.” She emphasizes, too, that religion will not work automatically. It is, she says, a practical discipline: its insights are derived not from abstract speculation but from “dedicated intellectual endeavor” and a “compassionate lifestyle that enables us to break out of the prism of selfhood.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Karen Armstrong

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Karen Armstronga (TM)s first book, the bestselling Through the Narrow Gate (1981), described her seven years as a nun in a Roman Catholic order. She has published numerous books, including A History of God, which has been translated into thirty languages, A History of Jerusalem and In the Beginning: A New Reading of Genesis. Her more recent works include Islam: A Short History and Buddha, which was an international bestseller. Since 1982 she has been a freelance writer and broadcaster. She lives in London.
 
Published September 11, 2009 by Anchor. 434 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Case for God

Kirkus Reviews

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Celebrated religion scholar Armstrong (The Bible: A Biography, 2007, etc.) creates more than a history of religion;

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The New York Times

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Karen Armstrong, a former nun, wants to rescue the idea of the Deity from its cultured despisers and its more literal-minded adherents alike.

Oct 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

The Guardian

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Karen Armstrong is one of the handful of wise and supremely intelligent commentators on religion who has become distressed by the tone of recent discussions of the subject.

Jul 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

The Guardian

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This is a perversion of anything valuable in religious practice, Armstrong writes, and it is only this perverted view that arouses the scorn of modern "militant" atheists.

Jul 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

Examiner

Thus, The Case for God is not so much a set of proofs for God's existence, but a selection of and elaboration on the apophatic positions of particular religious thinkers, united in their unwillingness to pin God down to the realm of the perceivable.

Jan 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

The Globe and Mail

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Karen Armstrong's The Case for God is written not so much against the recent spate of books promoting atheism as with those books very much in mind.

Oct 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

Christian Science Monitor

Karen Armstrong, author of many acclaimed books on religious history, poses that startling proposition in her latest work, The Case for God.

Oct 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

Military.com

KAREN Armstrong is one of the most perceptive and intelligent writers on religion, and I have both learned a great deal and enjoyed reading her previous books on the evolution of the Bible, the life of Muhammad and the "Great Transformation" - the astonishing and almost simultaneous emergence of ...

Jul 27 2009 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

Scholars And Rogues

and if they believe there are questions beyond science, then by definition they believe the answers will be.

Feb 05 2014 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

The Anniston Star

Karen Armstrong is known for her excellent, even-handed books on religious matters, and The Case For God is her best work yet, focusing mainly on the Christian religion.

Dec 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

truthdig

As sea surface temperatures rise above 28°C, hurricanes tend to become more likely, and there is evidence that tropical cyclones in the Northern hemisphere are increasingly likely to threaten cities once considered beyond the hazard zone.

Jan 01 2015 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

truthdig

Al Christians and Jews in Muslim states were forced to declare .

Oct 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

truthdig

- again, mostly with respect to the attempted re-writing of history - through Beck, Palin, Bachmann, Fox News, etc.

Mar 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Case for God

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