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What Karen Armstrong learned

September 18th, 2013
Karen Armstrong tells her much-recycled story again. Once she tried to be a nun, then she got fed up with it and tried to be an academic and was all skeptical and shit. Then she sat down to read quietly and she discovered religion was right about everything after all. I suddenly found that I was learning …

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A valentine for Karen Armstrong

February 13th, 2013
Good old NPR, always middlebrow to a fault. Talk about atheism and religion? Well you know what will be said, because NPR wouldn’t allow anything else to be said. Sometimes the debate between atheism and religion can be enlightening, showing us how both of these different approaches dive deeply into the currents of human experience. …

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Karen Armstrong says how great Islam is

January 23rd, 2012

“The ancient rituals of the hajj…have helped pilgrims to form habits of heart and mind that – pace the western stereotype – are non-violent and inclusive.”… Read the rest

My review of Karen Armstrong’s new book

December 21st, 2010

In the New Humanist.… Read the rest

Richard Holloway reviews Karen Armstrong

December 20th, 2010

“Is she correct in suggesting that, au fond, the essence of the main religions boils down to compassion?” No.… Read the rest

The Observer profiles Karen Armstrong

October 4th, 2010

“But like Kissinger, Armstrong has enemies.” Many devout Catholics, and…Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom. Ha!… Read the rest

Has Karen Armstrong read Feuerbach?

September 16th, 2010

The real irony is that Feuerbach’s argument is above all applicable to the elusive, ungraspable ‘God’ for which Karen Armstrong makes her case.… Read the rest

Karen Armstrong finds a kindred spirit

July 4th, 2010

Marilynne Robinson also says positivism is reductionist and sciencey and bad.… Read the rest

Another mystery for Karen Armstrong

June 19th, 2010

Theocracy in Israel.

Parents of European, or Ashkenazi, origin do not want their daughters to be educated in the same classroom as schoolgirls of Middle Eastern and North African descent, or Sephardim, claiming that they are not as religious…

Batting off accusations of racism, the parents, who live in the West Bank settler community of Immanuel, have argued that their wish to separate their children is motivated only by religious and cultural differences between the different Jewish communities.

“The Sephardic Jews are less observant, they dress differently,” said Carter Schwartz, a 31-year-old protester with an American accent. “It’s like sending kids of a totally different learning level to Harvard, and the government forces [Harvard] to take them in.”

And … Read the rest

Karen Armstrong explains about God.

April 10th, 2010
'Theologians have insisted for centuries that God does not exist.'

Reading Karen Armstrong

April 10th, 2010
History is for Karen Armstrong not so much putty as Playdoh.

Paul Fidalgo on Karen Armstrong

January 13th, 2010

When cornered by particularly formidable atheists and rationalists, religionists play the Socrates Card. … Read the rest

More on Karen Armstrong

December 4th, 2009

This is mysticism and metaphysical hand-waving raised to a truly objectionable level.… Read the rest

R Joseph Hoffmann Reviews Karen Armstrong

November 21st, 2009

Armstrong, friend to all religion, needs to write less and read more. And think about what she reads.… Read the rest

Wendy Grossman on Karen Armstrong

November 18th, 2009

The truth is not always polite and compassionate.… Read the rest

Karen Armstrong, time-traveling pollster

November 8th, 2009

Karen Armstrong’s breezy way with facts and references can sometimes produce declarations that are really funny. On the first page of chapter 10, ‘Atheism,’ for instance, she starts with a preacher launching ‘a crusdade’ against Deism in 1790 and goes on with the rise of Evangelicalism into the 1830s. No references of course. The next paragraph starts ‘On the frontiers, nearly 40 percent of Americans felt slighted by the aristocratic republican government…’

!!! Really?! How the hell does she know that? She doesn’t even say at what particular moment in time that bizarrely exact claim was (according to her) true, and she certainly doesn’t say how she knows or how anyone else knows either. That’s not surprising, because no one … Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Study Karen Armstrong

October 23rd, 2009

The barmaid doesn’t get the lesson.… Read the rest

PZ Studies Karen Armstrong

October 23rd, 2009

Yes we all look for meaning; no we don’t all find it in religion.… Read the rest

Karen Armstrong Tells Us All About God, Again

October 21st, 2009

‘The quest for meaning continues. So God isn’t going anywhere.’ There’s logic for you!… Read the rest

Jack Miles on Robert Wright and Karen Armstrong

October 17th, 2009

‘A god whose existence you can prove is a god to whom you cannot pray, postmodern theology argues…’… Read the rest