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The Case for God epub download

by Karen Armstrong


Karen Armstrong, in writing The Case for God, provides the reader with one of the very best theological works of our time

Karen Armstrong, in writing The Case for God, provides the reader with one of the very best theological works of our time.

The Case for God is a 2009 book by Karen Armstrong. It is an answer to the recent claims that God does not exist from Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. It covers the history of religion, from the paleolithic age to the present day, with a focus on the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and on apophatic theology in various religions.

Karen Armstrong takes the reader through a history of religious practice in many different cultures, arguing that in the . This is religion as it should be, and, according to Armstrong, as it once was in all the world's best traditions. However, there is a serpent in this paradise, as in others.

Karen Armstrong takes the reader through a history of religious practice in many different cultures, arguing that in the good old days and purest forms they all come to much the same thing. Or rather, several serpents, but the worst is the folly of intellectualising the practice. This makes it into a matter of belief, argument, and ultimately dogma.

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

Karen Armstrong, a former nun, wants to rescue the idea of the Deity from its cultured despisers and its more literal-minded adherents alike. The time, in other words, is ripe for a book like The Case for God, which wraps a rebuke to the more militant sort of atheism in an engaging survey of Western religious thought. Karen Armstrong, a former nun turned prolific popular historian, wants to rescue the idea of God from its cultured despisers and its more literal-minded adherents alike.

The Case for God is an entire semester at college packed into a single book-a voluminous, dizzying .

The Case for God is an entire semester at college packed into a single book-a voluminous, dizzying intellectual history. Reading The Case for God, I felt smarter. A stimulating, hopeful work. And I wondered w. bout the AuthorKaren Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs; including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha and The Great Transformation, and an autobiography, The Spiral Staircase.

Is there a God? How did the world come into being? But this is a modern preoccupation. Religion was never supposed to provide answers to questions that lay within the reach of human reason. Religion’s task, closely allied to that of art, was to help us to live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there were no easy explanations and problems that we could not solve: mortality, pain, grief, despair, and outrage at the injustice and cruelty of life.

The Case for God book.

Ms Her new book is called "The Case for Go. We'll talk more after a break. This is FRESH AIR. (Soundbite of music)

Her new book is called "The Case for Go. (Soundbite of music). GROSS: If you're just joining us, my guest is Karen Armstrong, and we're talking about her new book, "The Case for Go.

In this astounding book, prolific author Karen Armstrong has written an intellectual history of the notion of God, focusing on Western Christian conceptions. In many ways this book covers much of the same territory that Robert Wright did in The Evolution of God, but whereas Wright focuses on the evolution of morality in conceptions of the divine, Armstrong focuses on the practice of religion. I was astounded as time after time she got so many things right in those areas I know something about. This is an amply-documented, massive book, and an intellectual feast

From the bestselling author of A History of God and The Great Transformation comes a balanced, nuanced understanding of the role religion plays in human life and the trajectory of faith in modern times.Why has God become incredible? 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?Moving from the Paleolithic Age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the lengths to which humankind has gone to experience a sacred reality that it called God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. She 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. With her trademark depth of knowledge and profound insight, Armstrong elucidates how the changing world has necessarily altered the importance of religion at both societal and individual levels. And she makes a powerful, convincing argument for structuring a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.From the Hardcover edition.

The Case for God epub download

ISBN13: 978-0307397447

ISBN: 0307397440

Author: Karen Armstrong

Category: History

Subcategory: World

Language: English

Publisher: Vintage Canada; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)

Pages: 432 pages

ePUB size: 1367 kb

FB2 size: 1145 kb

Rating: 4.5

Votes: 727

Other Formats: docx mbr mobi rtf

Related to The Case for God ePub books

Jozrone
Karen Armstrong has written an insightful summary of the historical development of the God concept from earliest time to the present. The best review of the major contributions of her case study can be found in the book’s prologue and epilogue. Her overview of the ways in which human interpretations of the transcendental “other” have appeared in history is invaluable in sorting out the objects of religious devotion (or the denials thereof) which have challenged human understanding. To convey the scope and artistry of her analyses, I have selected ideas from her book which particularly appealed to me.
She presents her case in two parts; the first is The Unknown God (30,000 BCE to 1500 CE) during which ultimate reality was not a personalized God, but a profound mystery which could never be plumbed (mythos beyond logos). Reality that transcends language must be expressed symbolically, which was variously developed: in Hebrew monotheism, in Greek philosophy, in rabbinical Judaism, in early Christianity, in Eastern orthodoxy and in Islamic revelation. Central to many of these developments were the ideas that accessibility to God involved one or more of: “kenosis” (emptying oneself of selfishness), “pistis” (commitment to engagement), “ekstasis” (stepping out of habitual thought patterns), all of which required long, hard practice or ritual devotion. Attempts to prove God’s existence through logic were proposed, but those who claimed an experience of God seemed to accept the “apophatic assumption” which was that reason was incapable of encompassing what God was.
The second part of the book (1500 CE to the present) covers the period in which religion and science were seen progressively to contradict each other. As the scientific method developed, observational and experimental “truths” contradicted metaphorical “truths” in scripture, which were mistakenly taken literally and suppressed for being at odds with doctrine. The philosophical enlightenment of the 18th century attempted to use logic and reason to explain transcendent experience, and this gave rise to deism and atheism but also to literal fundamentalism as a reaction to any attempt to question the veracity of scripture. But secular ideologies, such as the logical positivist’s limitation of meaningful inquiry to objective sense data, are as deadly as religious bigotry, and both represent inherently destructive idolatries. Armstrong observes that “every single fundamentalist movement, scientific as well as religious, is rooted in profound fear and is fiercely reductionistic”. Just as the monkey trial and the use of suicide bombings illustrate the weaknesses of religious fundamentalism, the holocaust as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki illustrate the danger of science, unfettered by compassion, as a tool of militarism.
If we can no longer look to an all-powerful, oriental-despot God who, if properly appeased by devotion and praise, may bless us with favors, what kind of god does this case study suggest? An answer postulated by recent German theologians seems to hark back to "that profound mystery which could never be plumbed" – a.k.a. the ground of all being. Gould has suggested that God belongs to a religious magisterium, concerned with values which is separated from a scientific magisterium which deals only with empirical sense data. Science itself is an act of faith whereas religion requires response rather than belief. In this reviewer’s opinion, Armstrong stops short of summarizing her case, perhaps because she has chosen not to include the insights that have come from analyses of those resuscitated from death or near death. There is growing evidence that consciousness, non-localized to the bodies of individuals in these and other circumstances, can expand to realms similar to, if not identical with, those experienced in mystical traditions, in order to sense that overwhelming oneness and love which is the hallmark of the perennial God experience.
Jozrone
Karen Armstrong has written an insightful summary of the historical development of the God concept from earliest time to the present. The best review of the major contributions of her case study can be found in the book’s prologue and epilogue. Her overview of the ways in which human interpretations of the transcendental “other” have appeared in history is invaluable in sorting out the objects of religious devotion (or the denials thereof) which have challenged human understanding. To convey the scope and artistry of her analyses, I have selected ideas from her book which particularly appealed to me.
She presents her case in two parts; the first is The Unknown God (30,000 BCE to 1500 CE) during which ultimate reality was not a personalized God, but a profound mystery which could never be plumbed (mythos beyond logos). Reality that transcends language must be expressed symbolically, which was variously developed: in Hebrew monotheism, in Greek philosophy, in rabbinical Judaism, in early Christianity, in Eastern orthodoxy and in Islamic revelation. Central to many of these developments were the ideas that accessibility to God involved one or more of: “kenosis” (emptying oneself of selfishness), “pistis” (commitment to engagement), “ekstasis” (stepping out of habitual thought patterns), all of which required long, hard practice or ritual devotion. Attempts to prove God’s existence through logic were proposed, but those who claimed an experience of God seemed to accept the “apophatic assumption” which was that reason was incapable of encompassing what God was.
The second part of the book (1500 CE to the present) covers the period in which religion and science were seen progressively to contradict each other. As the scientific method developed, observational and experimental “truths” contradicted metaphorical “truths” in scripture, which were mistakenly taken literally and suppressed for being at odds with doctrine. The philosophical enlightenment of the 18th century attempted to use logic and reason to explain transcendent experience, and this gave rise to deism and atheism but also to literal fundamentalism as a reaction to any attempt to question the veracity of scripture. But secular ideologies, such as the logical positivist’s limitation of meaningful inquiry to objective sense data, are as deadly as religious bigotry, and both represent inherently destructive idolatries. Armstrong observes that “every single fundamentalist movement, scientific as well as religious, is rooted in profound fear and is fiercely reductionistic”. Just as the monkey trial and the use of suicide bombings illustrate the weaknesses of religious fundamentalism, the holocaust as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki illustrate the danger of science, unfettered by compassion, as a tool of militarism.
If we can no longer look to an all-powerful, oriental-despot God who, if properly appeased by devotion and praise, may bless us with favors, what kind of god does this case study suggest? An answer postulated by recent German theologians seems to hark back to "that profound mystery which could never be plumbed" – a.k.a. the ground of all being. Gould has suggested that God belongs to a religious magisterium, concerned with values which is separated from a scientific magisterium which deals only with empirical sense data. Science itself is an act of faith whereas religion requires response rather than belief. In this reviewer’s opinion, Armstrong stops short of summarizing her case, perhaps because she has chosen not to include the insights that have come from analyses of those resuscitated from death or near death. There is growing evidence that consciousness, non-localized to the bodies of individuals in these and other circumstances, can expand to realms similar to, if not identical with, those experienced in mystical traditions, in order to sense that overwhelming oneness and love which is the hallmark of the perennial God experience.
Painbrand
I have been a big fan of Karen Armstrong since I heard her speak some years ago at a conference. Her wit and humility are as powerful as her scholarship and big picture perspective on the history of religion. Her examination as to the history of God and what that simple three letter word might mean as metaphor rather than simply literal meaning is powerful. One of my favorite quotes (and has been oft-quoted online) is this passage from the book "We have domesticated God's transcendence. We often learn about God at about the same time as we are learning about Santa Claus; but our ideas about Santa Claus change, mature and become more nuanced, whereas our ideas of God can remain at a rather infantile level."
To me, that statement does not at all deny the story of God as written in the Koran, Hebrew and Christian Testaments. God as reality can be valid but only if we understand "God" to be mean many different ideas. Some see God as literal presence; others understand God as metaphor. They are all correct depending on our viewpoint.
Karen Armstrong in the gentlest possible ways invites us (actually holds our feet to the theological fire) to consider God in radically different ways that surely will force us out of our comfort zones. Marvelous book.
Painbrand
I have been a big fan of Karen Armstrong since I heard her speak some years ago at a conference. Her wit and humility are as powerful as her scholarship and big picture perspective on the history of religion. Her examination as to the history of God and what that simple three letter word might mean as metaphor rather than simply literal meaning is powerful. One of my favorite quotes (and has been oft-quoted online) is this passage from the book "We have domesticated God's transcendence. We often learn about God at about the same time as we are learning about Santa Claus; but our ideas about Santa Claus change, mature and become more nuanced, whereas our ideas of God can remain at a rather infantile level."
To me, that statement does not at all deny the story of God as written in the Koran, Hebrew and Christian Testaments. God as reality can be valid but only if we understand "God" to be mean many different ideas. Some see God as literal presence; others understand God as metaphor. They are all correct depending on our viewpoint.
Karen Armstrong in the gentlest possible ways invites us (actually holds our feet to the theological fire) to consider God in radically different ways that surely will force us out of our comfort zones. Marvelous book.
Burirus
Ms. Armstrong correctly points out that most of the angry noise about religion comes from fundamentalists and atheists. Clearly, the author falls into a more tolerant attitude about the various religious beliefs practiced around the world. She does not, however, give a free pass to Christian, Islam, or Jewish fundamentalism OR narrow-minded atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitches. I've read all four of the atheists' books by the aforementioned and, despite them being highly entertaining and thought-provoking, were of the attitude that we should throw the proverbial religious-belief baby out with the bathwater. Both sides seem hellbent on destroying the other.

The author takes pains to explain the evolving nature of religious practices since we converted to monotheism. Ms. Armstrong focuses primarily on Christianity but gives a very quick overview of the Muslim and Jewish history. It's important to pay close attention while reading 'The Case for God.' Skimming over the history of how religious belief was practiced and then reading the author's conclusions is a waste of time. She covers such areas as the intent of the Holy Trinity, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the Second Great Awakening, myth vs literalism, many of the movers-n-shakers of religious debate, and religion's complex relationship with science.

For the record, I was raised Catholic but have been agnostic now for almost thirty years. Like the other half dozen other works I've read by Ms. Armstrong, she treats her subject matters with respect. She may not agree with their stances, but you won't find the author calling them rockheads or loony. Once in a great while, sarcasm makes a brief cameo, but Ms. Armstrong saves it for the fundamentalists and atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Both Dawkin-wannabes and fundamentalists have a great resistance to acknowledging the "opponents" may have some merit. I have always finished one of the author's works better informed and reminded that religion is a valuable component for many people in living life.
Burirus
Ms. Armstrong correctly points out that most of the angry noise about religion comes from fundamentalists and atheists. Clearly, the author falls into a more tolerant attitude about the various religious beliefs practiced around the world. She does not, however, give a free pass to Christian, Islam, or Jewish fundamentalism OR narrow-minded atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitches. I've read all four of the atheists' books by the aforementioned and, despite them being highly entertaining and thought-provoking, were of the attitude that we should throw the proverbial religious-belief baby out with the bathwater. Both sides seem hellbent on destroying the other.

The author takes pains to explain the evolving nature of religious practices since we converted to monotheism. Ms. Armstrong focuses primarily on Christianity but gives a very quick overview of the Muslim and Jewish history. It's important to pay close attention while reading 'The Case for God.' Skimming over the history of how religious belief was practiced and then reading the author's conclusions is a waste of time. She covers such areas as the intent of the Holy Trinity, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the Second Great Awakening, myth vs literalism, many of the movers-n-shakers of religious debate, and religion's complex relationship with science.

For the record, I was raised Catholic but have been agnostic now for almost thirty years. Like the other half dozen other works I've read by Ms. Armstrong, she treats her subject matters with respect. She may not agree with their stances, but you won't find the author calling them rockheads or loony. Once in a great while, sarcasm makes a brief cameo, but Ms. Armstrong saves it for the fundamentalists and atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Both Dawkin-wannabes and fundamentalists have a great resistance to acknowledging the "opponents" may have some merit. I have always finished one of the author's works better informed and reminded that religion is a valuable component for many people in living life.