By Karen Armstrong
"An admirable and ambitious paintings of synthesis that might supply perception and delight to millions of lay readers."THE WASHINGTON publish booklet WORLDIn this stunningly clever publication, Karen Armstrong, one among Britain's most advantageous commentators on spiritual affairs, strains the background of the way women and men have perceived and skilled God, from the time of Abraham to the current. From classical philsophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the trendy age of skepticism, Karen Armstrong plays the close to miracle of distilling the highbrow background of monotheism into one beautifully readable quantity, destined to take its position as a vintage.
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Extra resources for A History of God: the 4000-year quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
J, for example, starts his history of God with an account of the creation of the world which, compared with the Enuma Elish, is startlingly perfunctory: At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven, there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for Yahweh God had not sent rain on the earth nor was there any man to till the soil. However, a flood was rising from the earth and watering all the surface of the soil. Yahweh God fashioned man (adam) of dust from the soil (adamah).
One of the reasons why religion seems irrelevant today is that many of us no longer have the sense that we are surrounded by the unseen. Our scientific culture educates us to focus our attention on the physical and material world in front of us. This method of looking at the world has achieved great results. One of its consequences, however, is that we have, as it were, edited out the sense of the 'spiritual' or the 'holy' which pervades the lives of people in more traditional societies at every level and which was once an essential component of our human experience of the world.
There is a distinction between belief in a set of propositions and a faith which enables us to put our trust in them. I believed implicitly in the existence of God; I also believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the efficacy of the sacraments, the prospect of eternal damnation and the objective reality of Purgatory. I cannot say, however, that my belief in these religious opinions about the nature of ultimate reality gave me much confidence that life here on earth was good or beneficent.
A History of God: the 4000-year quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong