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The prolific, well-informed, and passionate Armstrong (The Case for God) writes a somewhat different book this time out, stemming from her winning a ,000 prize in 2007 to promote an idea worth spreading. She always has a thesis in her books as she sweeps over the historical development of world religions, but this is a book with an agenda: you ought to be more compassionate, and here™s how. So instead of being her usual somewhat academic teacher of religious history, she is more of a personal spiritual teacher, in the vein of the Dalai Lama. That task, and corresponding tone (œBe patient with yourself during this meditation), is not her long suit. Still, this slightly self-help-y book is deeply grounded in what Armstrong knows, and presents, well: the core teachings of all religions that can make us better, more compassionate humans. The former nun pulls ideas and references from religions Eastern and Western with aplomb and respect for all sources. This counter to the religion-is-homicidal-and-superstitious school of invective passing for thought is well-informed, welcome, and practical. (Jan.)
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*Starred Review* It takes courage for a religious historian and writer of Armstrong’s stature to step out from behind the scrim of scholarship and analysis to offer guidelines for a spiritual practice designed to make humanity a kinder and saner species. With the boon of the prestigious TED Prize, Armstrong (The Case for God, 2009) worked with “leading thinkers from a variety of major faiths” to compose a Charter for Compassion, which calls for the restoration of “compassion to the heart of religious and moral life” in a “dangerously polarized” world. Not content with merely stating lofty goals, however, Armstrong, a revered genius of elucidation and synthesis, now tells the full and profound story of altruism throughout human history. She turns to neuroscience and tracks the evolution of our brains and our natural capacity for empathy, and performs her signature mode of beautifully clarifying interpretation in a mind-expanding discussion of the history of the Golden Rule (“Always treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself”), the essence of compassion and the kernel of every religious tradition. Exquisite and affecting explications of Buddhist, Confucian, Judaic, Christian, and Islamic commentary prepare the ground for meditation exercises meant to engender “open-mindedness” and the cultivation of compassion, making for the most sagacious and far-reaching 12-step program ever. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A hefty print run is planned for renowned religious thinker Armstrong’s bold approach to teaching the compassionate ethos. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Very well written and a must read, if you want to practice and put compassion & empathy at the center of your daily life.Published 18 days ago by Muslim Lakhani
Ordered it. It had a missing handle. Returned it. It had a missing handle. Not happy.Published 1 month ago by J Harrison
This book was being used for a Sunday teaching forum this summer at our church. I was going to miss about 1/2 of teaching series because of a mission trip. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J GRADY LACY
This is a great book for a group reading as there are exercises at the conclusion of each chapter. Members of a reading group could discuss their responses at great length and get... Read morePublished 3 months ago by lindarabbit
Great work for study group exploration. Good clean writing and well researched as usual for Karen Armstrong's books.Published 4 months ago by Ronald A. Crete
A must red for everyone who wishes to become more humane. Armstrong again hits the nail on the head with her great insight and well researched materials.Published 5 months ago by Moritz