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The Battle for God Paperback – January 30, 2001
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Yet she also acknowledges the irony of how fundamentalism and Western materialism seem to urge each other on to greater excesses. To "prevent an escalation of the conflict, we must try and understand the pain and perception of the other side," she pleads. With her gift for clear, engaging writing and her integrity as a thorough researcher, Armstrong delivers a powerful discussion of a globally heated issue. Part history lesson, part wake-up call, and mostly a plea for healing, Armstrong's writing continues to offer a religious mirror and a cultural vision. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book, a comparison of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic fundamentalism, has more than lived up to my high expectations. The world isnÕt less dangerous after reading it, but it makes a little more sense, and I feel better equipped to cut through the platitudes and nonsense.
Armstrong argues that in the modern world "we can not be religious in the same way as our ancestors," and yet without any religion at all, life feels as if it has no meaning. And so all of us, whether devout, agnostic, or atheist, search for meaning, for "new ways to be religious." Fundamentalism represents one of those searches, but it is a way that grows out of fear.
One of the things I found most interesting about this book is that Armstrong emphasizes that this "fear" isnÕt simply some bizarre paranoia. ItÕs often quite legitimate. American Protestant fundamentalism grew up among poor, rural, badly educated people who felt that powerful and sophisticated people were laughing at them and their beliefs. And, to be fair, they were right.Read more ›
The contrasting of the fundamentalist perspective with the non-fundamentalist perspective was an eye opener. She points out the need for both meaning in life and reason. The trouble with applying a literal understanding of the Scriptures was discussed as well as the problem of relying upon 'reason' alone.
Even though Armstrong's observations were not as exhaustive as the history she describes, she gives you enough history to enable you to decipher and try out some theories of your own. Overall, I was much more impressed with this work than "A History of God".
"The Battle for God" is a study of fundamentalism in 3 major world religions, as it developed over centuries. One of the author's theories is that "fundamentalism" is a reaction to changes in the world which seem to threaten old belief systems with annihilation -- scientific & technological progress, secularization of political life, capitalism, among many others. It's interesting that "fundamentalists," whatever they call themselves, take offense at this loose categorization, and then proceed to rail against the very ideologies Armstrong touched upon in her definition.
Then again, Armstrong contends that fundamentalism is half-baked and dangerous theology, misreading the traditional basis it presumes to be reclaiming, while departing from the basic tenets of humility, humanity and compassion that all 3 religions were founded upon. The "believers" only add support to her claim by responding with obtuse, illiterate and/or ad hominem attacks on the author.
The modernity of Fundamentalism emerges as a paradox which confuses both fundamentalists and "liberals" alike. It's an impressive insight Armstrong provides when she demonstrates how, for example, discomfort with the theories & discoveries of science leads to the adoption of pseudo-scientific procedures for a new discipline, "creation science." Who needs faith when you have a science to prove your beliefs are correct?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting book about the role that God plays in society from the very early days up to 1999 and the battles to become either a secular government or a God-based government. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Glenn D. Robinson
snooze fest but good as a reference book. definitely written textbook style. has good index at end if you need it for a paper or something.Published 9 days ago by Sarah L.
Best I've read covering spectrum of religions covering the middle of the road members to characteristics of extreme and radical fruitcake members.Published 19 days ago by George
The Battle is not just over the property rights: What religion or sect owns the right to define God and interpret his will for all of humanity? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lane Stripe
The writer makes the fatal mistake of equating the religions of Abraham and God with Islam the religion of Allah, the one pagan god of Arabia. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jennifer
Excellent and deep read as always. While I do not necessarily agree with everything she says, once again she convincingly sheds light on the rise of fundamentalism in all three... Read morePublished 4 months ago by G. D.
I found it impossible to keep up with the names of tribes, places in history etc! Ms Armstrong is an amazing researcher and writer of past history
and comparing with today,... Read more
Hey good read on the fundamentalist movements Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Especially pertinent given the current campaign.Published 4 months ago by Adam Stolinski