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Karen Armstrong  5 review

And Islam have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God from the time of Abraham t. This is one of those books that make me feel woefully deficient in a certain subject Having never taken a comparative religion class and in fact bordering on an antiestablishment stance when it comes to organized religion I can only conclude that this book was not the place to start The first couple of chapters which reviewed mankinds evolution from a polythesim to the monothesims of Judiasm Christianity and Islam were interesting and for me blessedly linear and understandable From there things rapidly deteriorated as Armstrong ran through the impact and thought process that philosophy mysticism reform and enlightenment had on the three monothestic faiths These chapters were filled with dense pondorous examples of each of these disciplines crammed wtih foreign names and terms forcing me to reread pages and chapters still without making much headway I hate to indulge myself this way but to illustrate my point I uote from page 270 a part of a paragraph which starts Luria gave a new meaning to the original image of the exile of the Shekinah It will be recalled that in the Talmud the Rabbis had seen the Shekinah voluntarily going into exile with the Jews after the destruction of the Temple The Zohar had identified the Shekinah with the last sefirah and made it the female aspect of divinity In Luria s myth the Shekinah fell with the other sefiroth when the Vessels were shattered Granted it is taken out of context but it borders on reading a foreign language And it goes onFurther compounding the problem are a lack of any headings on subgroupings in Armstrong s chapters which are composed of paragraphs that run nearly a page long each It is this amount of dense detail that continually makes rereading a necessity rather than a luxury I was tempted on multiple occasions to put this book down and finished with a sense that I had read line for line the entire 2008 federal IRS tax code Overall not the place to start

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A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

Over 700000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world Judaism Christianity. I still can t decide if it s good or not That s that problem with being kinda dumb

Summary A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

O the present From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation the Enlightenment and the modern age of skepticism Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volu. The Tendencies of ReligionsA facebook conversationStarted with this post with the following Ambedkar uote The Hindus criticise the Mahomedans for having spread their religion by the use of the sword They also ridicule Christianity on the score of the InuisitionBut really speaking who is better and worthy of our respect the Mahomedans and Christians who attempted to thrust down the throats of unwilling persons what they regarded as necessary for their salvation or the Hindu who would not spread the light who would endeavour to keep others in darkness who would not consent to share his intellectual and social inheritance with those who are ready and willing to make it a part of their own make upI have no hesitation in saying that if the Mahomedan has been cruel the Hindu has been mean and meanness is worse than crueltyResponse Professor XWhat is worseA Use force to make others join your faithB Use force to keep out of those who want to join your faithMe an additional dimension is there you keep them out and then you discriminate and degrade based on religionProfessor X I wanted to strip the discussion of dalit angle but YES this has got me thinkingMe ah okay wouldn t majority of early religions tribal been exclusivist missionary religions were probably an innovation which is the natural tendency need to study Professor X No This man has hit the nail on the head Hinduism is the only one that opted to have exclusion as a theme and that I suspect because there was no occupation effort The same religion in south east asia saw the need to absorb locals in Me Ambedkar claims elsewhere that early Hinduism was an evangelizing religion and that once caste and varna systems were hardened it had to stop being one if a religion obsessed with purity starts absorbing it will also try to exclude at the same time this will have to give rise to a varna and then even a caste system as and walls are erected for and minute exclusions eventually the evangelizing had to stop and thus occupation that is the chain of causation i glean from reading ambedkar not the other ay round what saynow if i assume that tribal religions are exclusivist and accept this line of reasoning it would seem to imply that religions once they pass a critical mass will become missionary in nature religion and politics going together however if they do not reinvent themselves to lose completely their exclusivist tendencies as happened with islam etc then they will eventually reach another critical mass when they harden and cant expand any with that both religious evangelism and political expansion will end simplistic i know but seems to make some sense to meMe btw Hinduism is not the only such religion there are other religions too that are exclusivist a good example to prop up my case would be Judaism a or less tribal religion which probably never reached the first critical mass point Judaism discourages missionary activities and maintains an exclusivist doctrine again based on purity of the chosen peoplewe could say that Judaism once it came close to the first critical mass reinvented itself as Christianity an evangelist religion but with no exclusivist tendencies and hence it didnt have to hit the second point could spread and spread islam too another variation of the same themeDoes this seem like a useful line of enuiry Are there any books that explore the tendencies of religions Would love to read a few


10 thoughts on “A History of God The 4000 Year uest of Judaism Christianity and Islam

  1. says:

    Whew I thought I'd never finish this book But two months later I somehow managed to get to the end Now what to say about it?I started this book knowing a moderate amount about the history of Christianity a small amount about Judaism and much too little about Islam I relied heavily on my previous knowledge of Christianity and Judaism to make sense of Armstrong's extremely dense often repetitive and to use her favorite word esoter

  2. says:

    A MAJOR PROBLEM WITH RELIGIONYou may have already thought of a few but this is my current thingReligious thought is metaphorical and the constant danger is that the unlettered will take the metaphor literally For instance the Holy Trinity in Christianity sorting out a satisfactory formula expressing the relationships between God the Father Je

  3. says:

    I still can't decide if it's good or not That's that problem with being kinda dumb

  4. says:

    This is at once a very simple and a very complex book Simple in its argument complex in the array of detail marshalled to tell Armstrong's storyHer view it seemed to me was firstly that monotheism was wide spread well beyond the limits of Judaism Christianity and Islam but that there was always a tension between two basic ideas wit

  5. says:

    This is one of those books that make me feel woefully deficient in a certain subject Having never taken a comparative religion class and in fact bordering on an antiestablishment stance when it comes to organized religion I can only

  6. says:

    If I could give a book six stars I would give them to this book I feel like I learned something new on nearly every page This book is truly a history book on a grand scale It reminds me of the type of history Will Durrant wrote where he would take a period of time and write extensively about all the facets of history within that time Armstrong on the other hand takes just one facet of history and writes extensively about it ove

  7. says:

    The Tendencies of ReligionsA facebook conversationStarted with this post with the following Ambedkar uote The Hindus criticise the Mahomedans for having spread their religion by the use of the sword They also ridicule Chri

  8. says:

    Karen Armstrong is a former Catholic nun and studied at Oxford Her book The Spiral Staircase is a good description of the struggles that led to her leaving the convent There have been several good books written on the historic Jesus Christ but very few on the historic God As other reviewers have noted this is a somewhat scholarly book which it would have to be if one wanted to thoughtfully trace back man’s evolving beliefs on

  9. says:

    I haven't finished reading the book I still plan to though but not in one sitting The official blurb' Over 700000 copies of the origin

  10. says:

    Nuances Of The Religious Tradition This was a great book that seriously seriously bolstered my understanding of the history of God and has ultimately ignited an interest in me to read further books on the specific areas of religious practice there is a massive 'further reading' section at the back that I look forward to raiding As such I had a number of things I wanted to say in my review yet I think a uick bit of advise would suffice as a

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