eBook PDF / e-Pub Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence

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Title:Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Karen Armstrong
Publisher:Knopf Canada
ISBN:0307401960
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:528
Category:Religion, Non fiction, Philosophy, History, War, Politics

Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence From the renowned and best selling author of i A History of God i a sweeping exploration of religion s connection to violence b .

For the first time in American history religious self identification is on the decline Some have cited a perception that began to grow after September that faith in general is a source of aggression intolerance and divisiveness something bad for society But how accurate is that view And does it apply equally to all faiths In these troubled times we risk basing decisions of real and dangerous consequence on mistaken understandings of the faiths around us in our immediate community as well as globally And so with her deep learning and sympathetic understanding Karen Armstrong examines the impulse toward violence in each of the world s great religions The comparative approach is new while there have been plenty of books on jihad or the Crusades for example this one lays the Christian and the Islamic way of war side by side along with those of Buddhism Hinduism Confucianism Daoism and Judaism Each of these faiths arose in an agrarian society with plenty of motivation for violence landowners had to lord it over peasants and warfare was essential to increase one s landholdings the only real source of wealth before the great age of trade and commerce In each context it fell to the priestly class to legitimate the actions of the state And so the martial ethos became bound up with the sacred At the same time however the faiths developed ideologies that ran counter to the warrior code around sages prophets and mystics within each tradition there grew up communities that represented a protest against the injustice and violence endemic to agrarian society This book explores the symbiosis of these two impulses and its development as these confessional faiths came of age But modernity has also been spectacularly violent and so Armstrong goes on to show how and in what measure religions in their relative maturity came to absorb modern belligerence and what hope there might be for peace among believers in our time

A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Armstrong a British journalist and former nun guides us along one of the most elusive and fascinating quests of all time the search for God Like all beloved historians Armstrong entertains us with deft storytelling astounding research and makes us feel a greater appreciation for the present because we better understand our past Be warned i A History of God i is not a tidy linear history Rather we learn that the definition of God is constantly being repeated altered discarded and resurrected through the ages responding to its followers practical concerns rather than to mystical mandates Armstrong also shows us how Judaism Christianity and Islam have overlapped and influenced one another gently challenging the secularist history of each of these religions i Gail Hudson i


Islam: A Short History

No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism authoritarian government female oppression and civil war In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject Karen Armstrong s short history demonstrates that the world s fastest growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest


The Case for God

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 br br 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 i logos i 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


The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness

In at age seventeen Karen Armstrong entered a convent eager to meet God After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford But convent life had profoundly altered her and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating Her deep solitude and a terrifying illness diagnosed only years later as epilepsy marked her forever as an outsider In her own mind she was a complete failure as a nun as an academic and as a normal woman capable of intimacy Her future seemed very much in question until she stumbled into comparative theology What she found in learning thinking and writing about other religions was the ecstasy and transcendence she had never felt as a nun Gripping revelatory and inspirational b The Spiral Staircase b i i is an extraordinary account of an astonishing spiritual journey


The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism

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 i The Battle for God i Writing with the broad perspective and deep understanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for i A History of God i Armstrong illuminates the spread of militant piety as a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history br br 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 br br Blending history sociology and spirituality i The Battle for God i is a compelling and compassionate study of a radical form of religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history


Muhammad

A fresh evenhanded biography of the founder of Islam by the author of A History of God Portrays Muhammad as a passionate complex fallible human being Publishers Weekly


Buddha

No description available


A Short History of Myth

No description available


The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions

In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Now Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times br br In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Later generations further developed these initial insights but we have never grown beyond them Rabbinic Judaism Christianity and Islam for example were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision Now in The Great Transformation Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times br br Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha Socrates Confucius Jeremiah Ezekiel the mystics of the Upanishads Mencius and Euripides All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time Despite some differences of emphasis there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion With regard to dealing with fear despair hatred rage and violence the Axial sages gave their people and give us Armstrong says two important pieces of advice first there must be personal responsibility and self criticism and it must be followed by practical effective action br br In her introduction and concluding chapter Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today In our various institutions we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering In each Axial Age case a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change


The Bible: A Biography (Books That Changed the World)

The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world Translated into over two thousand languages it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years alone A work made up of sixty six books and divided into two Testaments this complex and communal work has been transformed by its various translations into a single work at the heart of the world s largest and most powerful organised religions Christianity In this seminal account Karen Armstrong discusses the conception gestation life and afterlife of this collection of books to analyse how this all pervasive scripture was collected into one work how it became accepted as Christianity s sacred text and how it continues to exercise profound political and philosophical influence as well as religious control over the world around us


The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism, Islam: A Short History, Muhammad, The Bible: A Biography (Books That Changed the World), The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, A Short History of Myth, The Case for God, Buddha, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness