By Karen Armstrong
Moving from the Paleolithic age to the current, Karen Armstrong information the nice lengths to which humankind has long gone for you to event a sacred truth that it referred to as by means of many names, reminiscent of God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing specifically on Christianity yet together with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and chinese language spiritualities, Armstrong examines the reduced impulse towards faith in our personal time, whilst an important variety of humans both wish not anything to do with God or query the efficacy of religion. Why has God turn into unimaginable? Why is it that atheists and theists alike now imagine and talk about God in a fashion that veers so profoundly from the contemplating our ancestors?
Answering those questions with a similar intensity of information and profound perception that experience marked all her acclaimed books, Armstrong makes transparent how the altering face of the realm has inevitably replaced the significance of faith at either the societal and the person level.
Fascinating trip via Western civilization's ongoing makes an attempt to appreciate and clarify the idea that of God. Celebrated faith student Armstrong (The Bible: A Biography, 2007, etc.) creates greater than a historical past of faith; she successfully demonstrates how the West (broadly conversing) has grappled with the life of deity and captured the idea that in phrases, paintings and ideas. starting within the majestic caves of Lascaux, Armstrong explores how faith turned a significant a part of prehistoric societies, and the ways that those societies handed down their practices and ideas within the earliest types of paintings. the writer then strikes directly to early monotheism and its competitors, supplying a super exam of historical Greek perspectives on faith and cause, which laid the foundation for therefore a lot of Western proposal. taking a look at the early Christians and Diaspora-era Jews in tandem, Armstrong delves into Talmudic learn and midrash, in addition to Christian diversifications of theological suggestions. in the course of the e-book, the writer argues opposed to faith as an abstraction, noting that it such a lot actually exists in perform. "Faith . . . used to be an issue of useful perception and lively commitment," she writes. "It had little to do with summary trust or theological conjecture." however, students have continually tried to outline and "prove" God, and Armstrong admirably outlines the simplest of them throughout the centuries, together with Origen, Anselm, Pascal and Tillich. Armstrong claims that the "warfare" among technology and faith is a fantasy perpetuated by means of people with axes to grind. Likewise, the trendy atheist circulate, "death of God" theology or even fundamentalism come up from extremists who see faith as right doctrine,not right praxis. notwithstanding usually desirous about the West, Armstrong keeps an international standpoint, masterfully weaving in her strong figuring out of the world's panoply of faiths. available, interesting examine of ways we see God.
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Extra info for The Case for God
Why was the world the way it was? They believed that they could find an answer by examining the arche, the "beginning" of the cosmos. If they could discover the raw material that had existed before the universe as we know it had emerged, they would understand the substance of the cosmos, and everything else would follow. They were not hostile to religion; indeed, there was nothing in Greek religion that was incompatible with this type of investigation. As an Aryan people, the Greeks accepted the idea of an overarching cosmic order to which all beings were subject.
J and E were not writing edifying morality tales, however. The characters of Genesis have moments of vision and insight, but they are also presented as flawed human beings who have to contend with a perplexing God. 32 Hitherto Abraham had not hesitated to question Yahweh's arrangements, but this time he obeyed without voicing a single objection. Perhaps he was too shocked to speak. The God he had served so long had turned out to be a heartless slayer of children, who was also cynically breaking his promise to make him the father of a great nation.
At the very beginning of the monotheistic tradition, therefore, the doctrine of divine creation, which would later become so important, seems somewhat peripheral. If they did refer to the old cosmological myths, the biblical authors used them to supplement the meaning of historical events. One of the most famous miracle stories in the Hebrew Bible is the tale of the Israelites' crossing of the sea during their escape from Egypt, with Pharaoh's army in hot pursuit. "18 Once they reached the opposite side, the waters closed over the heads of the Egyptians, not one of whom escaped.