Karen Armstrong Message Board

James Antenore posts on 8/9/2010 4:08:16 AM Dear Karen, We met more than once at AAR/SPL conferences, but I shouldn't expect that you would remember me. I taught a comparative religions course in an American high school for more than 30 years. Near the end of my career I had my students read and analyze your wonderful book, "A Short History of Myth." I collected copies of several of their papers with the idea of sending them to you for your perusal. They are well considered and I thought that you might enjoy taking a look at the influence you have had even on high school students. My problem is that I am not sure how to get them to you. Is there any way that you could help me with this? Looking forward to hearing from you or your representative. With admiration and respect. Jim Antenore
Me posts on 7/13/2010 9:36:07 PM Karen, I recommend "A History of God" to all the anti-religious atheists out there. I don't think it's a case FOR religion but it gives a human perspective on the monotheistic religious struggle and it's an eye-opener for anyone who just wants to use religion as a scapegoat for all the evil in the world. Thank you for being you.
Sherri Schneider posts on 7/5/2010 9:32:44 PM Ms. Armstrong, I LOVE your books and would like to hear you lecture. Do you have a lecture schedule available?

simon veldhoven posts on 6/7/2010 5:01:43 AM Dear Karen, I am dissapointed in some of your material in Muhammad "Prophet For Our Time". The statement you make at page 214 sums up some of my views. You write:"......but who had profound genius and founded a religion and cultural tradition that was not based on the sword...." From my other readings about the prophet this seems incorrect. During his time Muhammad, may peace be upon him, took part in 27 battles most of which he instigated. After the battle with the Banu Qurayzah he personally struck the head off Huyayy. Many times citizens of towns and regions were given the option of warfare or conversion so I cannot see how you come to your view that the prophet did not have the sword as a base. Please advise me. Thank You.
Katherine Benson posts on 4/12/2010 6:33:36 PM Dear Karen, I've been rereading your chapter To Turn Again in SPIRAL STAIRCASE and want to express to you how much help this has been to me personally. As one who enjoyed Silence and was propelled out into the world again and puzzled about it, I found your words affirming. I have also found THE CASE FOR GOD thrilling and deeply moving and most helpful in my role as Education for Ministry mentor in my local Episcopal parish. The heart connection I was experiencing as I reread SPIRAL STAIRCASE motivated me to contact you. Am also most interested in the Compassion Contract and shall follow it's progress with interest. Cordially, Katherine, Rome, GA., USA
Jeff Schuster posts on 4/9/2010 12:46:07 AM Karen, I purchased your book, Case for God, on CD and have just finished listening to it. If you were to profile me you would probably call me a Fundamentalist Protestant Christian. I also happen to teach a course on Creation Science at our church. Probably one of the most despised characters in your book. You may be surprised to know that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will probably listen to the CDs at least one more time. I do feel like you may have overstated the case that early Christians were not that literal regarding Jesus. My sense is that Jesus' apostles would not have lost their lives for a myth. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the recap of the history of the interplay between science and religion through the centuries. I really loved the epilogue and may recommend this book to some of our church study groups. Thanks for writing the book. God bless you!
For Karen posts on 3/29/2010 7:16:53 PM Hello Ms Karen I hope that you will be nice. I inform you that I wrote an evaluative study of your book titled Muhammad Prophet for our Time. I hope you have a look before publishing it. I have two versions: Arabic and English. .
Deirdre from Florida posts on 1/30/2010 5:28:22 PM Regarding "The Case for God," thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you. For your other works that I've read, as well, but especially for this one.
Ehlam posts on 1/25/2010 11:23:45 PM Hello Karen, I want to thank you so much for everything you are doing. I have been reading your book, Muhammad:Prophet For Our Time, and I want to let you know how grateful I am for telling people the truth -- rather than following the usual prejudices and stereotypes against Muslims. Please continue to do what you are doing. May God bless you :) Ehlam
genevieve posts on 1/17/2010 3:32:20 PM Karen I've just begun reading The Case for God (I've read The Spiral Staircase and re-read several times its chapter 8); I began The History of God, but stopped in tears. As another writer has said: if this is so essential to us, why is it elusive to all but those who are privileged with time and resources? I admire your brilliance and readability and hope to read most (if not all) of your books. In chapter one of The Case for God, you speak of earlier peoples in which "boys are taken from their mothers and put through frightening ordeals that transformed them into men." These ordeals you describe are torture, experiences that twist the psyche forever. Rather than producing "adult men," I think they produced scarred misshapen humans who passed on to the next generation the same torture as a way to justify what was done to them. We are today recipients and victims of that cruel mindset which still informs society, our child-rearing practices, as well as legal, social, and religious institutions (child abuse is pandemic, religion promotes self-doubt, fear of hell, dependence on authority, identifies the righteous as those with power and riches; our legal system regards isolation, mockery and punishment as the way to “pay for” diviance from the status quo with no regard for the dignity of human life of victim or perpetrator). In the same chapter (one) you say: Homo religiosus is pragmatic ... for twenty thousand years the hunters ... continued to thread their through the dangerous pathways of Trois Freres in order to bring their mythology ... to life. They must have found the effort worthwhile or they would ... have given it up." For thousands of years, men have found war "worthwhile" ... promoting it as "manly," heroic, necessary, even life-enhancing. They have certainly found war worth the cost in human lives, in the destruction of culture, resources, health, artistry, peace--or they would have given it up. I wonder if you have ever thought to explore that "religion" at which altar men have worshipped, which they have loved with such passion, to find what lies at the heart of such insanity. Does it begin with the torturing of young boys to turn them into caricatures of men?
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