Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong

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In the opening chapter, she charts the development of the golden rule in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She stuffs us full of facts. It is a bit overwhelming, if still engaging, though one wishes Armstrong possessed a greater willingness to self-edit. A few examples can go a long way.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha—now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place.

Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life.

The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up “compassion for yourself,” mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.


From the Hardcover 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 December 28, 2010 by Anchor. 242 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Donna Bailey Nurse on Jan 14 2011

In the opening chapter, she charts the development of the golden rule in Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She stuffs us full of facts. It is a bit overwhelming, if still engaging, though one wishes Armstrong possessed a greater willingness to self-edit. A few examples can go a long way.

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