Karen Armstrong


Born
in Wildmoor, Worcestershire, The United Kingdom
November 14, 1944

Website

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Karen Armstrong, a comparative religion specialist is the author of numerous books on religion, including The Case for God, A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and Fields of Blood, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase.

Her work has been translated into 45 languages. In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public, crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It was launched globally in the fall of 2009. Also in 2008, she was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. In 2013, she received the British Academy’s inaugural Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Trans cultural Understanding.

Average rating: 3.91 · 104,730 ratings · 7,162 reviews · 69 distinct worksSimilar authors
A History of God: The 4,000...

3.87 avg rating — 41,083 ratings — published 1975 — 77 editions
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Islam: A Short History

4.02 avg rating — 8,066 ratings — published 2000 — 46 editions
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The Case for God

3.83 avg rating — 7,427 ratings — published 2001 — 42 editions
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The Spiral Staircase: My Cl...

3.99 avg rating — 6,257 ratings — published 2004 — 27 editions
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The Battle for God: A Histo...

3.93 avg rating — 5,943 ratings — published 2000 — 40 editions
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Muhammad: A Biography of th...

4.15 avg rating — 5,267 ratings — published 1991 — 32 editions
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Buddha

3.89 avg rating — 4,083 ratings — published 2001 — 31 editions
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A Short History of Myth

3.67 avg rating — 4,427 ratings — published 2004 — 70 editions
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The Great Transformation: T...

4.03 avg rating — 3,340 ratings — published 2006 — 46 editions
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The Bible: A Biography

3.80 avg rating — 2,697 ratings — published 2007 — 14 editions
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“If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, of self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God's name, it was bad theology. ”
Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness

“Geniuses are not always pleasant people.”
Karen Armstrong

“A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God
who interfered with human freedom and creativity was a tyrant. If God is
seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that
relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect, he becomes a
being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all‐knowing tyrant is not so
different from earthly dictators who make everything and
everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism
that rejects such a God is amply justified.”
Karen Armstrong

Polls

55838
Spotlighted Book Discussion Poll I - October 26, 2011

This is a poll that adds other books to our listing of potential non fiction books to discuss and also helps the moderators determine which one or ones are the most popular. Since we have many more group members than when we first started; voting in the polls is very important. There will be a series of polls. Many of these books have been recommended by group members but were either not selected before nor voted upon before.

Vote for the book that you would most like to read and/or is the book that you believe that would appeal to the most group members.

Note:

We have added some of the books nominated thus far but we have more to add to other polls. However, this poll was getting quite large.

However, if you do not see your favorite book on this list; then just comment or pop me a note and I will immediately add it to this poll.

You can always change your vote at any time; so nothing is lost. There are some books which have been nominated by the same author; however, skip over those if the particular author does not suit you and vote for your favorite or for one you or others might want to read.

Before making your selection, please try to look up your choice and make sure it really is a book you are interested in or you think others would be; do not be lured in by the title. Also, check out the author and what others have said about the book before you (reviewers who you trust). Then of course, make your selection.

And if you do not see your favorite, just contact me and I will add it to the poll.

Cleopatra A Life by Stacy Schiff Stacy Schiff Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra: A Life
 
  18 votes, 10.6%

Hero The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda by Michael Korda

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
 
  13 votes, 7.6%

The Storm of War A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts by Andrew Roberts

The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

A Country of Vast Designs James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent by Robert W. Merry by Robert W. Merry

A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman by Philip Freeman

Alexander the Great
 
  12 votes, 7.1%

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett by Allison Hoover Bartlett Allison Hoover Bartlett

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession
 
  11 votes, 6.5%

 
  9 votes, 5.3%

Horse Soldiers The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton by Doug Stanton

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers
 
  7 votes, 4.1%

The Clockwork Universe Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick by Edward Dolnick

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society and the Birth of the Modern World
 
  6 votes, 3.5%

A History of God The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong Karen Armstrong Karen Armstrong

A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
 
  5 votes, 2.9%

Newton and the Counterfeiter The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist by Thomas Levenson by Thomas Levenson

Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist
 
  5 votes, 2.9%

The Idea of America Reflections on the Birth of the United States by Gordon S. Wood Gordon S. Wood Gordon S. Wood

The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

The Ascent of Money A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

The Painter's Chair George Washington and the Making of American Art by Hugh Howard by Hugh Howard

The Painter's Chair: George Washington and the Making of American Art
 
  4 votes, 2.4%

Winston's War Churchill, 1940-1945 by Max Hastings by Max Hastings Max Hastings

Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson

A History of the American People
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

The Birth of Modern Politics Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (Pivotal Moments in American History) by Lynn Hudson Parsons by Lynn Hudson Parsons

The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams and the Election of 1828
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Churchill by Paul Johnson by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson

Churchill
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Letters from America by Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis de Tocqueville Alexis de Tocqueville

Letters from America
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

U. S. Grant American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh Joan Waugh Joan Waugh

U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy by Donald Kagan by Donald Kagan

Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Destiny Disrupted A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary by Tamim Ansary

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

Modern Times The World from the 20s to the 90s by Paul Johnson by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson

Modern Times: The World from the 20s to the 90s
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George B. Johnson by George B. Johnson

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

God's Battalions The Case for the Crusades by Rodney Stark Rodney Stark Rodney Stark

God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith Adam Smith Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Age of Wonder How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes by Richard Holmes Richard Holmes

The Age of Wonder
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher by Gary W. Gallagher

The Union War
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Decision Points by George W. Bush by George W. Bush George W. Bush

Decision Points
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Civilization The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson by Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson

Civilization: The West and the Rest
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

The Journey by Tony Blair Tony Blair Tony Blair

The Journey
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

Thucydides The Reinvention of History by Donald Kagan Donald Kagan

Thucydides: The Reinvention of History
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Courage and Consequence My Life as a Conservative in the Fight by Karl Rove by Karl Rove Karl Rove

Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Party over Section The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848 (American Presidential Elections) by Joel H. Silbey by Joel H. Silbey

Party Over Section: The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

Madam Secretary A Memoir by Madeleine Albright Madeleine Albright Madeleine Albright

Madam Secretary: A Memoir
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

The Theory of Moral Sentiments  by Adam Smith by Adam Smith Adam Smith

The Theory of Moral Sentiments
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Merchant Kings by Stephen R. Bown Stephen R. Bown Stephen R. Bown

Merchant Kings
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson Paul Johnson

A History of Christianity
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

A History of the Jews (Perennial Library) by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson Paul Johnson

A History of the Jews
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

Jesus A Biography, from a Believer by Paul Johnson by Paul Johnson Paul Johnson


Jesus: A Biography from a Believer
 
  0 votes, 0.0%

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