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The Case for God

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The Case for God Cover

ISBN13: 9780307269188
ISBN10: 0307269183
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Karen Armstrong writes about religion the way that Michael Pollan writes about food — methodically, insightfully, and with an obvious passion for the subject matter. Covering everything from antiquity's caves deep below the earth to the modern fundamentalist heavens above, Armstrong's scope never exceeds her depth of knowledge.
Recommended by Nathan W., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong 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. Why has God become unbelievable? 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?

Answering these questions with the same depth of knowledge and profound insight that have marked all her acclaimed books, Armstrong makes clear how the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level. And she makes a powerful, convincing argument for drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age. Yet she cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide answers that lie within the competence of human reason; that, she says, is the role of logos. The task of religion is “to help us live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realities for which there are no easy explanations.” She emphasizes, too, that religion will not work automatically. It is, she says, a practical discipline: its insights are derived not from abstract speculation but from “dedicated intellectual endeavor” and a “compassionate lifestyle that enables us to break out of the prism of selfhood.”

Review:

"Armstrong's argument is prescient, for it reflects the most important shifts occurring in the religious landscape." Newsweek

Review:

"The Case for God should be read slowly, and savored." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Armstrong's thesis is provocative, and her book illuminates a side of Christianity that has recently been overshadowed." Columbus Dispatch

Review:

"Though mostly focused on the West, Armstrong maintains a global perspective, masterfully weaving in her solid understanding of the world's panoply of faiths. Accessible, intriguing study of how we see God." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Presenting difficult ideas with utter lucidity, this registers at once as a classic of religious and world history." Booklist

Synopsis:

Focusing especially on Christianity but including other religions, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion during a time when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith.

About the Author

Karen 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 two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages.

Table of Contents

Introduction

 

Part I The Unknown God (30,000 BCE to 1500 CE)

One  Homo religiosus

Two  God

Three  Reason

Four  Faith

Five  Silence

Six  Faith and Reason

 

Part II The Modern God (1500 CE to the Present)

Seven  Science and Religion

Eight  Scientific Religion

Nine  Enlightenment

Ten  Atheism

Eleven Unknowing

Twelve  Death of God?

Epilogue

 

Acknowledgments

Notes

Glossary

Selected Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

audreyguen, January 11, 2010 (view all comments by audreyguen)
A longstanding expert in the study of world religions, Armstrong turns her deft pen to offer an indispensible 'third way' through the mire of argument between fundamentalist religionists and atheists, both of whom sustain a shallow understanding of religious life. She demonstrates that at its best, religion is a practice and not a belief, and that making faith only a mental or emotional statement reduces it from its deeper potential. To this practicing Christian, her understanding of religious life sounds much more consistent with the Way taught by Christ than the dogmas of many so-called 'believers.'
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Jancsi, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Jancsi)
I was reading this at the same time as Atwood's "Flood", but liked this one better. Level headed, well argued, and no axes to grind. I'd have to think hard and remember better to come up with another "book of the decade".
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tde, September 22, 2009 (view all comments by tde)
A hugely important subject to be engaging with. Looking at Spirit, God, whatever one calls the One Who Sent Us... and seeking to understand how to have this in our lives in a real way.
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(4 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307269188
Author:
Armstrong, Karen
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
History
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
God -- History of doctrines.
Subject:
Apologetics
Subject:
Agnosticism
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Philosophy General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.4 x 5.2 x 0.45 in 1.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Christianity » Theology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » Featured Titles
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General
Religion » Western Religions » General and Comparative Religion

The Case for God Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307269188 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Karen Armstrong writes about religion the way that Michael Pollan writes about food — methodically, insightfully, and with an obvious passion for the subject matter. Covering everything from antiquity's caves deep below the earth to the modern fundamentalist heavens above, Armstrong's scope never exceeds her depth of knowledge.

"Review" by , "Armstrong's argument is prescient, for it reflects the most important shifts occurring in the religious landscape."
"Review" by , "The Case for God should be read slowly, and savored."
"Review" by , "Armstrong's thesis is provocative, and her book illuminates a side of Christianity that has recently been overshadowed."
"Review" by , "Though mostly focused on the West, Armstrong maintains a global perspective, masterfully weaving in her solid understanding of the world's panoply of faiths. Accessible, intriguing study of how we see God."
"Review" by , "Presenting difficult ideas with utter lucidity, this registers at once as a classic of religious and world history."
"Synopsis" by , Focusing especially on Christianity but including other religions, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion during a time when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith.
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