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A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Paperback – August 9, 1994
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Armstrong, a British journalist and former nun, guides us along one of the most elusive and fascinating quests of all time--the search for God. Like all beloved historians, Armstrong entertains us with deft storytelling, astounding research, and makes us feel a greater appreciation for the present because we better understand our past. Be warned: A History of God is not a tidy linear history. Rather, we learn that the definition of God is constantly being repeated, altered, discarded, and resurrected through the ages, responding to its followers' practical concerns rather than to mystical mandates. Armstrong also shows us how Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have overlapped and influenced one another, gently challenging the secularist history of each of these religions. --Gail Hudson
“An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay readers.”—The Washington Post Book World
“A brilliantly lucid, spendidly readable book. [Karen] Armstrong has a dazzling ability: she can take a long and complex subject and reduce it to the fundamentals, without oversimplifying.”—The Sunday Times (London)
“Absorbing . . . A lode of learning.”—Time
“The most fascinating and learned study of the biggest wild goose chase in history—the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius.”—A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life
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Full of facts and sources, writing and literature, and crammed with history and information, this book is THE source for the history of the monotheist God. From pre-Judaic concepts of God in Babylon to the formation of the nation of Israel and Abraham, through the Jewish periods (Mosaic, Temple Judaism, Prophets, etc) and into Jesus of Nazareth.. then early Christianity, the formation of the Catholic church as we recognize today, and into Muhammad and the start of Islam. It gets better: Armstrong continues into depth with the God of the philosophers, the mystics and their divine wisdom, and then into the death of God and the future of God.
I bought this book for a college course titled "The Idea of God" and we used the text as a reference for our study, as it took us gently through the history of this monotheist idea of God.
One thing worth noting: It is recommended to have a search engine on hand, as Armstrong tends to assume that readers are already on top of this kind of knowledge. Sometimes it can be a little dense in the beginning, but once you get into it you may find yourself reading it for pure enjoyment and knowledge, as well as wisdom.
There is much to gain in this book and I recommend it for anyone who is Jewish, Christian, Islam, any other religion, or considers themselves spiritual. If you're looking for the stuff you don't learn in church, Armstrong has it all. Prepare to be amazed at all the things you never knew and have your idea of God change, for the better.
This book provides in depth insights to historical searches for a monotheistic God. It provides tremendous insight to the God of many religions over eons off time. Highly recommended for "Clarence Darrows" willing and anxious to THINK.
Not recommended for "fundamentalists , inerreantists, or factualist " Bible beleivers
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Michel Valois author of Avant Jesus et apres Jesus (to be published in English)