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A History of God: The 4000 Year Quest for Judaism, Christianity and Islam » (Reprint)

Book cover image of A History of God: The 4000 Year Quest for Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong

Authors: Karen Armstrong
ISBN-13: 9780345384560, ISBN-10: 0345384563
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Date Published: August 1994
Edition: Reprint

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Author Biography: Karen Armstrong

Book Synopsis

"An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philsophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic.

Publishers Weekly

This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate. Armstrong, a British broadcaster, commentator on religious affairs and former Roman Catholic nun, argues that Judaism, Christianity and Islam each developed the idea of a personal God, which has helped believers to mature as full human beings. Yet Armstrong also acknowledges that the idea of a personal God can be dangerous, encouraging us to judge, condemn and marginalize others. Recognizing this, each of the three monotheisms, in their different ways, developed a mystical tradition grounded in a realization that our human idea of God is merely a symbol of an ineffable reality. To Armstrong, modern, aggressively righteous fundamentalists of all three faiths represent ``a retreat from God.'' She views as inevitable a move away from the idea of a personal God who behaves like a larger version of ourselves, and welcomes the grouping of believers toward a notion of God that ``works for us in the empirical age.'' 25,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (Oct.)

Table of Contents

1In the Beginning . . .3
2One God40
3A Light to the Gentiles79
4Trinity: The Christian God107
5Unity: The God of Islam132
6The God of the Philosophers170
7The God of the Mystics209
8A God for Reformers257
10The Death of God?346
11Does God Have a Future?377
Suggestions for Further Reading427


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