Tuesday, July 22, 2008
a History of God by Karen Armstrong
This is a book everyone should be required to read in high school, along with the World's Religions. Armstrong starts with ancient Israel and takes you through to the modern day, discussing the major theologians of the Abrahamic tradition (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). This book will be enlightening and challenging for many people. One thing that becomes apparent quickly is that the Fundamentalist idea that the scriptures are meant literally is not some long lost traidition. The ancient Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all saw their scriptures as mythology, and, did not see the Old Testament as literal history. Its an excellent overview of the history of God in terms of how our concept of deity in the western traditions has changed over the past couple thousand years, however, I think she leaves out a few recent theologians who deserve a place in the chronology. However, given the restrictions of the book, I think she did an excellent job.