Religion is widely credited in our world with causing conflict and suffering, not reducing it. We have grown terrifyingly accustomed to militant piety. Yet here she presents the roots of today's religions as something that is all about compassion, that is about commitment to an ethical lifestyle, that is about an openness to change and others' points of view. In our global village, we can no longer afford a parochial or exclusive vision. We must learn to live and behave as though people in countries remote from our own are as important as ourselves". Key to that, she advises, are self-criticism of our own religious attachments and prejudices and plain old hard work and hard thinking to move beyond the artificial boundaries of dogma and denomination.
If we need an example of just how rewarding and enlightening such a search could be, we need look no further than the remarkable and persuasive Karen Armstrong herself.
You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Minds free for 1 month. Independent Minds Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Minds.
Karen Armstrong on the prophets who emerged in a great age of spiritual insight
It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent minds.
The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Minds.
AN IMPLICIT ARGUMENT
Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later?
Try Independent Minds free for 1 month to access this feature.
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Minds section, under my profile. Subscribe Now Subscribe Now. Final Say. Long reads. Lib Dems. US Politics. Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn. Robert Fisk. Mark Steel. Janet Street-Porter. John Rentoul. Chuka Ummuna. Shappi Khorsandi. Gina Miller. Our view. Sign the petition. Spread the word. Steve Coogan. Rugby union. Motor racing. US sports. Rugby League.
Geoffrey Macnab. Tech news. Tech culture. News videos.
- ALLOYSIOUS (Pronounced ALLO-WISH-US) Q. CACTUS.
- Share this page!
- Phloem: Molecular Cell Biology, Systemic Communication, Biotic Interactions.
- WHY DO BREAKTHROUGHS OCCUR??
Explainer videos. Sport videos. Money transfers. Health insurance. Money Deals.
The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong: | slumchorebasbay.gq: Books
The Independent Books. Voucher Codes. Minds Articles. Subscription offers. Subscription sign in. Read latest edition. UK Edition. US Edition. Rather she focuses on something she seems to implicitly assume is a 'universal' underpinning of human morality. She's on a different wavelength.
By now this has become abundantly clear. Okay, I'll sit back and let her elaborate before I pass judgment. It translates into: 'ignore cultural diversity, reject the opportunity to expand your personal horizons through deep listening and understanding of your neighbor's point-of-view, and just blindly assume that everyone wants to be treated the way you want to be treated'.
Surely Armstrong implicitly assumes the 'Golden Rule' is a universal sign of humanity's newly emerging shallowly defined 'compassion' to which all these nascent religious movements must have aspired, and thus to which they all gravitated. To me this is not a satisfying explanation. I see no universality. I'll offer one benign example: In China you must burp to express your satisfaction for a meal. In western Europe the burp is a sign that you're uncultured. The closest Armstrong comes to addressing my 'big-picture' question is by regurgitating Jaspers' thesis that the Great Transformation was a result of an interregnum between eras of war and destruction and suppression of original thought by great empires.
This seems insufficient, and again this is not my original thought--it is shared by other critics.
Data Protection Choices
Having posited her theme for the 'Axial Age' as Jaspers called it , Armstrong proceeds to delve into an historical survey, in chronological blocks, of the secular and spiritual events in the four cultures. It turns out that the Axial thinkers by her definition arose sporadically, not simultaneously in most cases. In fact she concludes that Axial thinking never really took hold in Greece as it spawned the Western philosophies. No unifying motivation? Why publish it under such a lofty title: "The Great Transformation"?
Why parrot Jaspers' themes if you don't even support them? Here's why: your publisher wants to sell books. Armstrong is a 'can't see the forest for the trees' thinker. Her book reads like a series of book reports here is what I read and here's what I got out of it. There are many of these. She defines them once and then expects the reader to remember them all. As a research earth scientist I find myself wondering if human interactions with the changing global climate of the time may have contributed to this great global revolution.
Psychologists may wonder if this was a result of the natural evolution of human self-awareness as we came to recognize our mind as a useful tool. Armstrong peripherally mentions in barely a few lines such revolutions as the smelting of iron and the domestication of the horse as contributing factors to destabilization during these times. She was silent on my Silk Road thesis and the others.
- My Wishlist;
- Piano Trio No. 2 - Opus 1, No. 2 in G Major: For Piano, Violin and Cello: 0 (Kalmus Edition)!
- The Van der Kemp Collection: A bundle of Thomas Jeffersons Letters?
- Der Gefälschte Paulus. Das Urchristentum im Zwielicht. (German Edition)?
In the end, this book was not what I was hoping for. View all 3 comments. Jul 14, Megan Anderson rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , nonfiction , religion. This textbook covers the beginnings and transformation of the major world religions through the Axel Age, from BCE to BCE, plus an epilogue that brings the history into the current time.