What religion really means
An essential book for our times: a thoughtful, cultured response to Richard Dawkins
There is widespread confusion about the nature of religious truth. For the first time in history, a significantly large number of people want nothing to do with God. Mlitant atheists preach a gospel of godlessness with the zeal of missionaries and find an eager audience. What has happened?
Tracing the history of faith from the Palaeolithic Age to the present, Karen Armstrong shows that meaning of words such as 'belief', 'faith', and 'mystery' has been entirely altered, so that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God - and, indeed, reason itself - in a way that our ancestors would have found astonishing.
Does God have a future? Karen Armstrong examines how we can build a faith that speaks to the needs of our troubled and dangerously polarized world.
“One of our best living writers on religion....prodigiously sourced, passionately written”
“A journey through religion that helps us to rescue what remains wise from so much that to many in Britain today no longer seems true.... Armstrong is one of the the handful of wise and supremely intelligent commentators on religion”
Alain de Botton, The Observer
“A tour de force of learning. A hefty history of theology, philosophy and science, and how they converge, it knocks Dawkins and Hitchens into an intellectual cocked hat...Armstrong rejoices in the unknowableness of life and searches, logically enough for meaning therein”
“Forget Richard Dawkins - just read it with an open mind”
“It isn't an easy read - why should it be? - but she is wonderfully clear and insightful - and not out to convert anyone”
“This is a stunned appreciation of an 'otherness' beyond the reach of language, and for Armstrong, constitutes the heart of every religion”
“This is smart work”
“Armstrong makes a wise and passionate case for a God of myth rather than reason, of wisdom rather than knowledge”
Steven Cave, Financial Times, Politics & religion books of the year
“Armstrong's God is far from the pop icon of the Evangelicals and closer to the "unseen power" of Shelley.”
“Learned and passionately argued”
“Armstrong is excellent as a historian and explicator of religions.”
Colin Waters, Sunday Herald
“Cogent and lucid historically based reply to Dawkins and Hitchens'. 'As she reminds us with this excellent study, religion was the first philosophical system.”
Lesley McDowell, Herald