Adrian Stumpp's Reviews > A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

A History of God by Karen Armstrong
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's review
Aug 29, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, history
Read in January, 2008

Armstrong, a former Catholic nun, traces the histories of Christ, Yahweh, and Allah from their common roots to the present, taking brief excursions along the way to explore some of the more interesting and eccentirc sects that have sprung up and usually been exterminated with extreme prejudice along the way. She points out, for example, that all three trace their claims of Truth back to a single man, Abraham, who believed in a god named El, who is none of the three major monotheistic deities of the west. Oh, and while Abraham did worship a single god, he believed in many gods. Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Catherism, Sufism, and others are explored. Armstrong does a particularly good job in my opinion of distilling complex theological principles into succinct, easy to understand language without demeaning or simplifying the complexity of issues like the nature of faith, the mysteries of trinity, the Council of Nicaea, the process of biblical redaction, the particularities of Orthodox iconography, and the subtle differences between canonical and liturgical traditons. A very good read.
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