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The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Text Only)
 
 

The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Text Only) [Kindle Edition]

Karen Armstrong
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Amazon Review

About 40 years ago popular opinion assumed that religion would become a weaker force and people would certainly become less zealous as the world became more modern and morals more relaxed. But the opposite has proven true, according to theologian and author Karen Armstrong (A History of God), who documents how fundamentalism has taken root and grown in many of the world's major religions, such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Even Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Confucianism have developed fundamentalist factions. Reacting to a technologically driven world with liberal Western values, fundamentalists have not only increased in numbers, they have become more desperate, claims Armstrong, who points to the Oklahoma City bombing, violent anti-abortion crusades, and the assassination of President Yitzak Rabin as evidence of dangerous extremes.

Yet she also acknowledges the irony of how fundamentalism and Western materialism seem to urge each other on to greater excesses. To "prevent an escalation of the conflict, we must try and understand the pain and perception of the other side," she pleads. With her gift for clear, engaging writing and her integrity as a thorough researcher, Armstrong delivers a powerful discussion of a globally heated issue. Part history lesson, part wake-up call, and mostly a plea for healing, Armstrong's writing continues to offer a religious mirror and a cultural vision. --Gail Hudson

Review

Praise for A History of Jerusalem:

‘A luminous history of Jerusalem… [Armstrong’s] book, imbued with sympathy for all three religions, added to careful scholarship and deep knowledge of theology and history, is a triumph’
Ian Gilmour, London Review of Books

‘It is a brave person who ventures into this historical minefield… But a book has been published which is the closest we are likely to get to historical balance on the subject. This is Karen Armstrong’s excellent History of Jerusalem… There is a vital need for an even-handed chronicler like Karen Armstrong, who is not afraid to stand up and speak unwelcome truths. ’
William Dalrymple, Independent

‘Splendid… Armstrong’s eminently sane and patient account of [Jerusalem’s] history is essential reading for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.’
John Ash, Washington Post


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1008 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (30 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HY5GLUC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to understand fundamentalism 10 July 2002
Format:Paperback
I am reading this book with as much interest and excitement as any I have for some time. It is an absolute must for broad-minded and especially non-religious people who want to understand tha nature and history of modern Fundamentalism. What is quite remarakable is the way the author integrates religious history with both past and contemporary political, social and economic history.
After a remarkable introduction she concentrates on four 'case studies', namely Iran, Egypt, Judaism and the USA. Althouugh she has obviously a special interest in Shii Islam, each of her studies is dramatic in the things one learns from it.
The book is also a remarkable work of research and scholarship.
Each day, I open the newspaper, and there is something there that is more easily understood from this book.
In fact, I believe, one of most important History books of modern times.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once again Karen Armstrong has produced a work of amazing erudition by exploring one of the most salient political phenomenon of our era.She traces the roots of modern religious Fundamentalism in the different historical experiences of secular modernity by the three monotheistic faiths.She reveals the common strands which have shaped these fierce reactions against the hegemony of the secular.She pointedly shows how, what she calls "mythos",is masquerading as "logos"and eventually degenerates into Ideologies of hatred and exclusion. Her analysis of recent political events in the Middle East and in America is illuminating.This is the voice of reason showing sagacity and sympathetic understanding. It is truly a remarkable book which is likely to get a much wider readership outside the UK.It deserves to be translated both into Arabic and Hebrew.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Book 21 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
THE BATTLE FOR GOD is the story of the rise of religious fundamentalism, especially among Christians, Muslims and Jews. The subject is now even more timely than when the book was first published five years ago.
Karen Armstrong shows that religious fundamentalism is a relatively recent phenomenon.Religious fundamentalists feel threatened by the modern advances which are favored by secularists. The secularists in turn feel threatened by the rigid views of the fundamentalists. It is more important than ever for these opposing groups to find some common meeting ground. After reading Armstrong's book, however, I do not feel optimistic about this possibility occurring anytime in the near future.
THE BATTLE FOR GOD is a well-researched study of a complex topic. One inescapable conclusion to draw from reading the book is that religious fundamentalism is deeply entrenched throughout the world and it is a major cause of much of the planet's present unrest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story for the sake of mercy 14 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback
Armstrong always tries to find the stories behind events, and to stand in the shoes of all participants. Her choice to trace fundamentalism through several centuries and three different religions frames a search for unbiased understanding. She respects people's quest to find the fundamental roots of their religion. But she also shows the real consequences when people have tried to play God over others. She shows how people of all three major "religions of the book" face similar choices among different versions of their faith. Among these choices she urges mercy rather than control.

--author of Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 5 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I endorse everything in the 5-star rated reviews already published - this book is one of the best I have ever read. I believe it makes a profoundly important contribution to understanding the 'backs-to-the-wall' mentality of people who feel so deeply threatened by the onward march of materialistic progress that their only recourse is to delve back to an idealised mythological past, when God was on their side, to try to rediscover the magic formula that will enable them to shake off the yoke of oppression and find their true destiny. It also demonstrates the inherent conflict between different types of fundamentalist thinking: between those who believe that the secret for success lies in turning their minds away from the world and inward towards God, restricting their lives to the correct observance of ancient rituals, and those who see the way forward as being to engage with the political process and fight for what they believe in, no matter what the cost in human lives or suffering (including their own). It not only explains the clash of different religions with each other and with secularism but also offers significant insights into the factional disputes that cause huge rifts within religions. Such insights seem to me vital to understanding that the politics of the Middle East is not just a bi-partite struggle over a piece of land but something far, far more significant.

One minor criticism of the book is a slight frustration, as a secular humanist, at what sometimes seems a religious apologetic. Thus she says(as quoted in the main review of this book above)things like "By the 18th century, however, ... people ... began to think that logos was the only means to truth and began to discount mythos as false and superstitious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly informative, deeply researched book
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the complexities of religious Fundamentalism.
Amazingly thorough research has gone into it by Karen Armstrong. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sheila T
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating - though a little dated now
Karen Armstrong deals here with an important subject: the development and causes of fundamentalism in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, patiently taking the reader through a... Read more
Published on 21 May 2012 by markr
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb review of a difficult subject
This book is excellent from start to finish. Karen Armstrong carefully and honestly describes the history of four regions of fundamentalism during the past two millenia:
-... Read more
Published on 30 May 2008 by Darren Simons
3.0 out of 5 stars This book misses out a millenia of fanaticism
Karen Armstrong is again as thorough as ever in her research into the fanatical side of religion. She is able to show how and why some sects became so radicalise - from the rather... Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2008 by J. Duducu
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed
Karen Armstrong's book does a great job of introducing the main religions and the potential perils associated with fundamentalism. Read more
Published on 3 April 2007 by Scientia quarens Intellectum
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Account of Fundamantalism, Short on Detail
The Battle for God is as balanced an account of the history of fundamentalism as I have read. Karen Armstrong traces the rise of fundamentalism in the three Abrahamic faiths. Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2007 by A. O. P. Akemu
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
I can not recommend this book highly enough. Karen Armstrong clearly knows her subject intimately and it is presented with superb clarity and a total absence of dogma. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2006 by Niall Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I found Karen Armstrong's book to be deeply involving and very moving in places. It has had a profound effect on my view of current events, even on my world view. Read more
Published on 17 July 2006 by S Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars most remarkable work on religion
Karen writes in such a convincing way that it is very difficult for anyone not to be moved by it. The most beautiful aspect of her books is that she disects religion very... Read more
Published on 14 July 2006 by A. R. Jami
1.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentalism
Karen Armstrong has a way of finding subjects that should be studied and not thinking very well about them. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2006 by Henry Ireton
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