My Rating out of ten: 5
Karen Armstrong writes an informative and many-layered book about the history of God. From the opening line on page one, you are immediately wondering about how so many different ideas of God or lack thereof came to be.
In the beginning humans beings created a God who was the First and Cause of all things and Ruler of heaven and earth.”
Although the whole concept of religion and the depth of these three theisms goes far beyond the grasp of one book, if you are trying to get a basis for understanding any of them or just religion in general, this is a good place to start. If you are trying to deepen your understanding of your own faith, it is also a good starting point. The book, though titled to be about Judaism, Christianity and Islam, also has moments where it talks deeply about philosophy, other religions, and even mysticism, in relation to these faiths but also outside of the context of those three theisms.
It is fascinating that such a book that seems equally informative about three very similar yet very different faiths was written by a woman who was a nun for seven years before receiving a degree at Oxford University. Karen Armstrong does not only connect us to faiths in a deeply factual way but also allows us to feel the way that believers of those faiths might have felt throughout the changing times.
Though it is not the most thrilling book and can have some dry spots, as with any informative book, it is still a wonderful read that I would recommend to anybody who might be interested in furthering their understanding of these faiths.
It seems when human beings contemplate the absolute, they have similar ideas and experiences. The sense of presence,ecstasy and dread in the presence of a reality–called nirvana, the One,Brahma or God–seems to be a state of mind and a perception that are natural and endlessly sought by human beings.” -pg 104
Have you read this book? Or do you have any recommendations for books you think I would enjoy? Let me know below and leave me some of your thoughts on other books as well.
” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”