A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong

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Karen Armstrong is a fascinating individual. In 1962, while still in her teens, she became a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus and remained there as a nun until she left the order in 1969 and started studying at Oxford. As an English professor in 1982 she wrote a biography of her time as a nun and soon after embarked on a career as an independent author on Comparative Religions. She  writes mostly books that attempt to investigate the historical foundations of Christianity.

She has also given some pretty amazing TED Talks that I think anyone interested in this subject should seek out as they are pretty interesting.

This book was very informative. I felt like a really learned something about the creation of the three “major” religions.

However, this is an incredibly dense book and you should maybe have at least a passing knowledge about this topic before you start. It took me a really long time to get through because I kept leaving it to read lighter books and coming back to it. I felt, in the end, that I had a clearer understanding of the worlds different religions and how they came to be. Although I don’t attend church I consider myself marginally religious and I am fascinated by religions and their histories.

Both amazing good and terrible bad has been done in the name of “God” around the world, and I find it comforting to know that there are people like Karen Armstrong in the world, arguing for peace and compassion.

I would still recommend this book (or any book by Karen Armstrong) to anyone who would like a more in-depth look at religion.

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