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1 Local Warehouse Religion Western- General and Comparative Religion

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The Battle For God


The Battle For God Cover



Reading Group Guide

In our supposedly secular age governed by reason and technology, fundamentalism has emerged as an overwhelming force in every major world religion. Why? This is the fascinating, disturbing question that bestselling author Karen Armstrong addresses in her brilliant new book The Battle for God. Writing with the broad perspective and deep understanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for A History of God, Armstrong illuminates the spread of militant piety as a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history.

Contrary to popular belief, fundamentalism is not a throwback to some ancient form of religion but rather a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world. As Armstrong argues, the collapse of a piety rooted in myth and cult during the Renaissance forced people of faith to grasp for new ways of being religious--and fundamentalism was born. Armstrong focuses here on three fundamentalist movements: Protestant fundamentalism in America, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran--exploring how each has developed its own unique way of combating the assaults of modernity.

Blending history, sociology, and spirituality, The Battle for God is a compelling and compassionate study of a radical form of religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history.

Product Details

Armstrong, Karen
Ballantine Books
New York
Comparative Religion
Church History
Religious fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism
Orthodox judaism
Christianity - General
Judaism - History
General Religion
Religion Comparative-General
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Ballantine Reader's Circle
Series Volume:
368/March 2001
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.24x5.56x1.02 in. .83 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Evangelism
Religion » Christianity » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » Reference
Religion » Islam » General
Religion » Western Religions » General and Comparative Religion

The Battle For God Used Trade Paper
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Product details 480 pages PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE - English 9780345391698 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An impressive achievement. Armstrong has mastered a mountain of material, added some brilliant insights of her own, and made it accessible to the general reader."
"Review" by , "Karen Armstrong takes the bull by the horns in this richly detailed study of fundamentalism's many faces through the ages...The book is a timely reminder: that religious ideologues and secular advocates of the nation-state, having helped create each other, must moderate their conflicts or pay the price?in violence at the expense of spirit."
"Review" by , "Going beyond her best-selling A History of God, Karen Armstrong has given us a wide-ranging review of the wrenching "Battle for God" between the forces of modernity and fundamentalism. Too many prefer to curse and denigrate the rise of fundamentalism. Karen Armstrong chooses to light a candle of understanding and comparative analysis."
"Review" by , "The Battle for God presents us with a sweeping panoramic view of the cultural and religious development of the Western world. Karen Armstrong first leads her readers into a brilliant udnerstanding of our present situation, then with equal skill she enables us to grasp a vision of a apiritual future that holds enormous promise. No one who occupies a role of leadership in political, educational, or religious arenas should ignore this illuminating book."
"Review" by , "Armstrong's Battle for God must immediately have a place on the bookshelf of anyone who wants to understand contemporary religious revivalism. She combines historical perspective with clear and balanced analysis in a way that provides remarkable insight into how religion interacts with modernity to create both conflict and new visions."
"Review" by , "As a portrait of militant fundamentalism — Jewish, Islamic, and Christian  it is a stunning acheivement."
"Review" by , "Whether or not you see fundamentalism as a threat, as Karen Armstrong does in The Battle for God, hers is one of the most penetrating, readable and prescient accounts to date of the rise of the fundamentalist movements in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Rather than make sweeping pronouncements, she wisely focuses on the fundamentalist strains in the United States, Israel, Iran and Egypt. She displays, as she should, sympathy for the plight of those who turned to fundamentalism after being shunted aside by forces and states that have little patience with the quest by the poor and the dispossessed to find meaning and purpose."
"Synopsis" by , "One of the most penetrating, readable, and prescient accounts to date of the rise of the fundamentalist movements in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."

--The New York Times Book Review

"EXCELLENT . . . HIGHLY INTELLIGENT AND HIGHLY READABLE . . . This is a book that will prove indispensable . . . for anyone who seeks insight into how these powerful movements affect global politics and society today and into the future."

--The Baltimore Sun

"ARMSTRONG SUCCEEDS BRILLIANTLY . . . With her astonishing depth of knowledge and readily accessible writing style, [she] makes an ideal guide in traversing a subject that is by its very nature complex, sensitive and frequently ambiguous."

--The San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle


--The Boston Globe

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