Top 100

Top 200 Karen Armstrong Quotes (2023 Update)
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Karen Armstrong Quote: “Petty theft, murder, forgery, arson, and the abduction of women were all capital offenses, so the death penalty for heresy was neither unusual nor extreme.50.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The study of the traditions doesn’t necessarily make you want to convert to another tradition, but it helps you to see your own differently and expands your outlook.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We can’t say what God is, and until the modern period, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians in the three God religions all knew that. They insisted that we have no idea what we meant when we said that God was good, or wise, or intelligent.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “A myth could not tell a hunter how to kill his prey or how to organise an expedition efficiently, but it helped him to deal with his complicated emotions about the killing of animals. Logos was efficient, practical and rational, but it could not answer questions about the ultimate value of human life nor could it mitigate human pain and sorrow.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “I learned a lot from both, initially Jewish and Muslim theologians that had been missing, perhaps from my rather parochial Catholic upbringing.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religion is hard work. Its insights are not self-evident and have to be cultivated in the same way as an appreciation of art, music, or poetry must be developed.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Since all premodern state ideology was inseparable from religion, warfare inevitably acquired a sacral element.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “From the Muslims I learned from the extraordinary pluralism of the Koran, the fact that the Koran endorses every single one of the major world faiths, but I was particularly enthralled by the Sufi tradition, the mystical tradition of Islam, which is so open to other religious faiths.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Marriages conducted in absentia to seal an alliance were often contracted at this time between adults and minors who were even younger than ‘A’isha. This practice continued in Europe.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The Qur’an was attempting to give women a legal status that most Western women would not enjoy until the nineteenth century. The.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “And before you embark on an argument or a debate, ask yourself honestly if you are ready to change your mind.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Once you gave up the nervous craving to promote yourself, denigrate others, draw attention to your unique and special qualities, and ensure that you were first in the pecking order, you experienced an immense peace.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “I had failed to make a gift of myself to God.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Muhammad preached his farewell sermon to the Muslim community. He reminded them to deal justly with one another, to treat women kindly, and to abandon the blood feuds and vendettas inspired by the spirit of jahiliyyah. Muslim must never fight against Muslim.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Often, they don’t want to give up their egotism. They want their religion to endorse their ego, their identity.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Now I think one of the reasons why religion developed in the way that it did over the centuries was precisely to curb this murderous bent that we have as human beings.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We are most creative and sense other possibilities that transcend our ordinary experience when we leave ourselves behind.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “If a stranger lives with you in your land, do not molest him. You must treat him like one of your own people and love him as yourselves, for you were strangers in Egypt.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We are what we are because of the hard work, insights and achievements of countless others.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Anybody who imagines that revealed religion requires a craven clinging to a fixed, unalterable, and self-evident truth should read the rabbis. Midrash required them to “investigate” and “go in search” of fresh insight. The rabbis used the old scriptures not to retreat into the past but to propel them into the uncertainties of the post-temple world.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed. The myths and laws of religion are not true because they they conform to some metaphysical, scientific or historical reality but because they are life enhancing. They tell you how human nature functions, but you will not discover their truth unless you apply these myths and doctrines to your own life and put them into practice.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “As soon as I stopped trying to exploit my literary skills to advance my career or enhance my reputation, I found that I was opening myself to the text, could lose myself to the beauty of the words and in the wisdom of the writer. It was a kind of ekstasis, an ecstasy that was not an exotic, tranced state of consciousness but, in the literal sense of the word, a going beyond self.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Their monstrous forms represent the perverse defiance of normal categories and the confusion of identity associated with social and cosmic disorder.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Muslim fundamentalism, by contrast, has often-though again, not always-segued into physical aggression. This is not because Islam is constitutionally more prone to violence than Protestant Christianity but rather because Muslims had a much harsher introduction to modernity.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “There is also a widespread assumption that the Bible is supposed to provide us with role models and give us precise moral teaching, but this was not the intention of the biblical authors. The Eden story is certainly not a morality tale; like any paradise myth, it is an imaginary account of the infancy of the human race.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “It is not difficult to find a religious justification for killing.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “In the inscriptions of Darius I, who came to the Persian throne after the death of Cyrus’s son Cambyses in 522 BCE, we find a combination of three themes that would recur in the ideology of all successful empires: a dualistic worldview that pits the good of empire against evildoers who oppose it; a doctrine of election that sees the ruler as a divine agent; and a mission to save the world.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The early doctrines of the church, even doctrines like Trinity and Incarnation were originally also calls for action, calls for selflessness, calls for compassion, and unless you live that out compassionately, selflessly, you didn’t understand what the doctrine was saying.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Of all the great world religions, Christianity should value the body most. After all, it taught that God had in some sense taken a human body and used it to redeem the world; everything about the physical should have been sacred and sacramental. But that had not happened. instead, the churches had found it almost impossible to integrate the sexual with the divine and had developed a Platonic aversion to the body – particularly the bodies of women.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The Roman clergy thus adopted the old aristocracy’s ideal of libertas, which had little to do with freedom; rather, it referred to the maintenance of the privileged position of the ruling class, lest society lapse into barbarism.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The Rhineland cities were developing the market economy that would eventually replace agrarian civilization; they were therefore in the very early stages of modernization, a transition that always strains social relations.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The guilt and anxiety induced by hunting, combined with frustration resulting from ritual celibacy, could have been projected onto the image of a powerful woman, who demands endless bloodshed.27 The hunters could see that women were the source of new life; it was they – not the expendable males – who ensured the continuity of the tribe. The female thus became an awe-inspiring icon of life itself – a life that required the ceaseless sacrifice of men and animals.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Like most Middle Eastern kings, the king of Judah was raised to a semidivine “state of exception” during the coronation ritual, when he became Yahweh’s adopted son and a member of the Divine Assembly of gods.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “So, we think about God far to easily and that’s because of a lot of social, intellectual, and scientific changes that have taken place in the western world and that has made God very problematic for a lot of people.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians have insisted for centuries that God does not exist and that there is ‘nothing’ out there; in making these assertions, their aim was not to deny the reality of God but to safeguard God’s transcendence.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “He was simply a nadhir, a messenger with a warning, and should approach the Quraysh humbly, avoid provocation, and be careful not to attack their gods. This is what the great prophets had done in the past.28 A prophet had to be altruistic; he must not trumpet his own opinions egotistically or trample on the sensibilities of others, but should always put the welfare of the community first. A.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Christian spirituality had been strongly influenced by Platonism, which sought to liberate the soul from the body, but in some circles in the early fourth century, people were beginning to hope that their hitherto despised bodies could bring men and women to the divine – or at least that it was not a reality separate from the physical, as the Platonists held.25.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it. If I saw someone reading a religious book on a train, I’d think, how awful.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The more I learned about the history of religion, the more my earlier misgivings appeared justified. The doctrines that I had accepted without question as a child were indeed man-made, constructed over a long period. Science seemed to have disposed of the Creator God, and biblical scholars had proved that Jesus had never claimed to be divine.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Jefferson the deist was accused of being an atheist and even a Muslim.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Every single one of the major traditions – Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as the monotheisms – teaches a spirituality of empathy, by means of which you relate your own suffering to that of others.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We have a duty to get to know one another, and to cultivate a concern and responsibility for all our neighbors in the global village.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The great task of our time is to build a global society, where people can live together in peace.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Fighting and obtaining wealth were inseparable and interconnected: freed from the need to engage in productive work, the nobility had the leisure to cultivate their martial skills.84 They certainly fought for honor, glory, and the sheer pleasure of battle, but warfare was, “perhaps above all, a source of profit, the nobleman’s chief industry.”85 It needed no justification, because its necessity seemed self-evident.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “The constant reprimands made me hyperconscious of my own performance, and so instead of getting rid of self, I had become embedded in the egoism I was supposed to transcend. Now I was beginning to understand that a silence that is not clamorous with vexation and worried self-regard can become part of the texture of your mind, can seep into you, moment by moment, and gradually change you.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “I tremble for our world, where, in the smallest of ways, we find it impossible... to find room for the other in our minds. If we cannot accommodate a viewpoint in a friend without resorting to unkindness, how can we hope to heal the terrible problems of our planet?”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “We have to make a disciplined effort to find out what our governments are doing in these various parts of the world and what is actually happening. We have to learn to listen to each other’s stories. Something we are not very good at.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Their revered minister John Cotton had instructed them that they could attack the natives “without provocation” – a procedure normally unlawful – because they had not only a natural right to their territory, but “a special Commission from God” to take their land.19 Already there were signs of the exceptionalist thinking that would in the future often characterize American politics.”
Karen Armstrong Quote: “Compassion does not, of course, mean to feel pity or condescend, but to feel with.”
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