Karen Armstrong is one of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, but left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a best-selling author of over 16 books. A passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and participated in the World Economic Forum. In 2013 she recieved the British Academy's inaugural Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for improving transcultural understanding.
THE LOST ART OF SCRIPTURE
‘An amazingly wide-ranging book, showing that the world’s religious texts can be a force for good today’ John Barton, author of A History of the Bible
In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. The Quran, the Torah and the Bible are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views. They are believed to be divinely ordained; they are claimed to contain eternal truths.
But as Karen Armstrong, a world authority on religious affairs, shows in this fascinating journey through millennia of history, this narrow reading of scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon. Armstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement with their holy texts will the world’s religions be able to curtail arrogance and intolerance. And if scripture is used to engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways, we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us.
‘Magisterial… A dazzling accomplishment’ New York Times
‘Glorious? Armstrong is the most articulate and generous-hearted exegete of religion writing in English at the present time’ A.N. Wilson, New Statesman