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Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong

(Great Britain, 1944) is one of the leading and most widely read writers on religion. Her work has been translated into 40 languages and includes bestsellers sch as A History of God (1995), The Battle for God (2000), Islam (2001), and The Case for God (2009). Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (2011) came about as a result of Armstrong's win of one of three TED prizes; she used the prize money to initiate the now globally supported Charter for Compassion. In October of 2014 she published Fields of Blood, dealing with the entanglement of religion and violence. In it, she bluntly states that all through the ages, wars have often been fought on behalf of a god. But she also shows that, alongside the crusaders and the jihadists, there has always been a Jesus or a Buddha advocating for peace and reconciliation. She also shows that the underlying motives for the use of force are usually social, economic or political in nature.

Archive available for: Karen Armstrong

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Karen Armstrong Meets Bas Heijne

    Conflicts over religion are more topical than ever, but religion is as old as the hills. Throughout the ages, people have established temples, churches, and mosques to honour their god(s). Where does the deep-seated need to believe in something come from? Why do people go so far as to wage war in the name of religion? What is religion, anyway? What is the function of faith for humankind? Since her debut, Through the Narrow Gate, in which she described her experiences as a lapsed nun, Karen Armstrong has developed into an expert on Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In her latest book, The Fields of Blood, she investigates the sometimes bloody, sometimes peaceful history of these religions. In English.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Violence and Religion - Opening Lecture by Karen Armstrong

    British author Karen Armstrong starts off the first evening of the festival with the 9th Winternachten Lecture. Her subject is violence and religion. What are the factors that lead to eruptions of violence and war? How can we live together peacefully despite religious and cultural differences? Is religion really a motive for the use of force, or are there other underlying factors? After the lecture, Sheila Sitalsing will have a conversation with Karen Armstrong. Dutch essayist Paul Scheffer and Egyptian writer Muhammad Aladdin will also take part in the discussion. In English.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In search of the soul. Part 2: Religion

    Is the soul purely religious? The answer to that question and to the alleged divine sides of the soul were provided by the Indian writer Pankaj Mishra and the British writer Karen Armstrong. Pankaj Mishra wrote the eassay-like travel novel The Buddha in the World, about his quest for the Buddha and the meaning of Buddhism. Karen Armstrong is one of the greatest writers of religion. In the 1960s she spent seven years as a nun in a Roman Catholic education congregation convent. Her personal memories and views on the failure of the church, the nature of religion, loneliness and spiritual experiences were laid down in her book Through the Narrow Gate. Her book A History of God, a cultural history of one thousand years of Christianity, Judaism and Islam were a worldwide bestseller. In it she wrote: 'The secularization which we are currently witnessing is a totally new experiment which has never occurred in the history of man before.' English spoken.