Top 100

Top 200 Karen Armstrong Quotes (2023 Update)
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Karen Armstrong Quote: “We should probably all pause to confront our past from time to time, because it changes its meaning as our circumstances alter.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Yet a personal God can become a grave liability. He can be a mere idol carved in our own image, a projection of our limited needs. fears and desires. We can assume that he loves what we love and hates what we hate, endorsing our prejudices instead of compelling us to transcend them.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Huge imbalance in power has resulted in the alienation, rage, fury, and awful amoral terrorism that has erupted and is erupting at the present time. And in order to counter this, we need to make the compassionate voice of religion and morality a dynamic force in our world.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Creation stories had never been regarded as historically accurate; their purpose was therapeutic. But once you start reading Genesis as scientifically valid, you have bad science and bad religion.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Ashoka’s dilemma is the dilemma of civilization itself. As society developed and weaponry became more deadly, the empire, founded on and maintained by violence, would paradoxically become the most effective means of keeping the peace.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “A gentleman is not born but crafted. He had to work on himself in the same way as a sculptor shaped a rough stone and made it a thing of beauty.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We need myths that will help us to identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe. We need myths that help us to realise the importance of compassion, which is not always regarded as sufficiently productive or efficient in our pragmatic, rational world.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The trouble with a lot of modern theology and a lot of modern thinking about God, is that we think of God a sort of being like ourselves, but bigger and better with likes and dislikes similar to our own.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “I no longer think that any principle or opinion is worth anything if it makes you unkind or intolerant.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Deeds that seemed unimportant at the time would prove to have been momentous; a tiny act of selfishness and unkindness or, conversely, an unconsidered act of generosity would become the measure of a human life.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The great genius of the Shiah was its tragic perception that it is impossible fully to implement the ideals of religion in the inescapably violent realm of politics.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Here in America, religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. They’ve lost the Axial Age vision of concern for everybody.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that can keep abreast of our technological genius, it is unlikely that we will save our planet. A purely rational education will not suffice.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Compassion has to become a discipline. It’s something that you do. It’s no good thinking that you agree with compassion or not, you’ve just got to do it. Just like it’s no good agreeing that it’s possible to float, you just have to get into the pool and then you learn that it’s possible.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Sumer had devised the system of structural violence that would prevail in every single agrarian state until the modern period, when agriculture ceased to be the economic basis of civilization.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “In the past some of the most influential Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians, such as Maimonides, Aquinas and Ibn Sina, made it clear that it was very difficult to speak about God, because when we confront the ultimate, we are at the end of what words or thoughts can do.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “There is nothing in Islam that is more violent than Christianity.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “It’s a great event to get outside and enjoy nature. I find it very exciting no matter how many times I see bald eagles.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Another peculiar characteristic of the human mind is its ability to have ideas and experiences that we cannot explain rationally. We have imagination, a faculty that enables us to think of something that is not immediately present, and that, when we first conceive it, has no objective existence. The imagination is the faculty that produces religion and mythology.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We want to create, never mind the leaders or the bishops or chief rabbis or imams, or Popes. We want to create a grassroots movement where people will become attuned to uncompassionate discourse in the same way as we are now attuned to sort of gender imbalance in our speech.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “In a conservative society, stability and order were far more important than freedom of expression.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We are meaning-seeking creatures.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “I discovered that I felt at home and alive in the silence, which compelled me to enter my interior world and around there. Without the distraction of constant conversation, the words on the page began to speak directly to my inner self. They were no long expressing ideas that were simply interesting intellectually, but were talking directly to my own yearning and perplexity.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “A symbol can be defined as an object or a notion that we can perceive with our senses or grasp with our minds but in which we see something other than itself. Reason alone will not enable us to perceive the special, the universal or the eternal in a particular, temporal object. That is the task of the creative imagination, to which mystics, like artists, attribute their insights.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “If we try to hold on to our partial glimpses of the divine, we cut it down to our own size and close our minds. Like it or nor, our human experience of anything or anybody is always incomplete: there is usually something that eludes us, some portion of experience that evades our grasp.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religion is a practical discipline and it’s one that we have always done, ever since humanity appeared on the scene when Homo sapiens became Homo sapiens. Sapiens became a human being, our minds very naturally segue into transcendence.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Mythology is usually inseparable from ritual.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Theologians in all the great faiths have devised all kinds of myths to show that this type of kenosis, of self-emptying, is found in the life of God itself. They do not do this because it sounds edifying, but because this is the way that human nature seems to work. We are most creative and sense other possibilities that transcend our ordinary experience when we leave ourselves behind.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religion is a practical discipline and in the 17th century in the West, we turned it onto a head trip. But it’s like dancing, or swimming, or driving, which you can’t learn by texts. You have to get into the car and learn how to manipulate the vehicle.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Skeletal remains show that plant-fed humans were a head shorter than meat-eating hunters, prone to anemia, infectious diseases, rotten teeth, and bone disorders.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Nirvana is something within you. It is not an external reality. No god thunders down from the mountaintop. Just as the great mystics in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths all discovered, God is within the self. God is virtually inseparable from ourselves.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “A myth, therefore, is true because it is effective, not because it gives us factual information. If, however, it does not give us new insight into the deeper meaning of life, it has failed.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We constantly have ideas and experiences that go beyond what we can say or know. Most often these are expressed in art, in painting, in music. Music, everyday confronts us with a form of knowing that doesn’t depend on words.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Compassion asks us to look into our hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse to inflict that pain on anybody else.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “My ideas about God were formed in childhood and did not keep abreast of my growing knowledge in other disciplines. I.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Even our contemporary cult of celebrity can be understood as an expression of our reverence for and yearning to emulate models of “superhumanity.” Feeling ourselves connected to such extraordinary.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religion is not a nice thing. It is potentially a very dangerous thing because it involves a heady complex of emotions, desires, yearnings and fears.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “And sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Buddhists talk about nirvana in very much the same terms as monotheists describe God.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We talk about God as though he was like a somebody. We ask him to bless our nation, or save our Queen, or give us a fine day for the picnic. And we actually expect him to be on our side in an election or war even though our opponents are also God’s children.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Some Palaeolithic heroes survived in later mythical literature. The Greek hero Herakles, for example, is almost certainly a relic of the hunting period.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Breath control is crucial to most of the contemplative traditions... Qur’anic reciters chant long phrases for meditation. It is natural for the audience to adjust their breathing too and find that this has a calming, therapeutic effect, which enables them to grasp the more elusive teachings of the text.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religious ideas and practices take root not because they are promoted by forceful theologians, nor because they can be shown to have a sound historical or rational basis, but because they are found in practice to give the faithful a sense of sacred transcendence.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “People still dreamed of going on Crusade and liberating Jerusalem, but in an important development, holy warfare was beginning to merge with the patriotism of national war.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The conviction that religion must be rigorously excluded from political life has been called the charter myth of the sovereign nation-state.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Mythology was not about theology, in the modern sense, but about human experience. People thought that gods, humans, animals and nature were inextricably bound up together, subject to the same laws, and composed of the same divine substance. There.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “A theology should be like poetry, which takes us to the end of what words and thoughts can do.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “You cannot be a hero unless you are prepared to give up everything; there is no ascent to the heights without a prior descent into darkness, no new life without some form of death. Throughout our lives, we all find ourselves in situations in which we come face to face with the unknown, and the myth of the hero shows us how we should behave. We all have to face the final rite of passage, which is death.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Krishna explains. “When enemies become too numerous and powerful, they should be slain by deceit and stratagems. This was the path formerly trodden by the devas to slay the asuras; and a path trodden by the virtuous may be trodden by all.”
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