Friday, July 22, 2016

The Case for God by Karen Armstrong

The Case for GodThe Case for God by Karen Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that explains everything.

I've read other Karen Armstrong books, but this goes in a different direction. She reviews the history of God and the relationship between philosophy, science, and religion in different cultures and times. She uses all this history to make a very compelling case for God generally, but also for the merits of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. She also makes a compelling case against positivism, "the belief that science is the only reliable means to truth." She doesn't do this lightly, she understands the importance of science today, and she discuss scientific progress from Copernicus to the modern debate in physics about string theory.

She also discusses what she believes are the origins and causes of our modern religious conflicts. She recommends solutions that make a lot of sense.

Karen Armstrong is a powerhouse of religious knowledge and practice. And she clearly also did a lot of research about science. This book is long, sometimes repetitive, and sometimes difficult to understand. I feel like I came to this book at a good time: after having learned about the practice of meditation and the debates about string theory. However, there's a lot more background I wish I brought to the book in the realm of philosophy, history, and religion.

Despite the challenge, or because of the challenge, I think it's well worth it for the religious and non-religious alike. It did for me what I hope every book I open to will do for me- change the way I see the world.

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