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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spiral Staircase, 17 April 2006
This review is from: The Spiral Staircase (Paperback)
In this third volume of Karen Armstrong's biography, she traces her life journey from the time she left the convent and her life as a nun to the present day. She writes of her initial rejection of God and all things religious. She wrote and presented television programmes that promoted a secular view. Her life was marred for a long time by undiagnosed epilepsy, which resulted in the feeling (regrettably supported by her psychologist) that she had serious mental illness. Eventually she returned to religion but not to the conventional God of Western religion. She started to view religions as adherence to certain practices which took one out of oneself. Good religion is that which promotes compassion - feeling what others feel and not treating them in ways in which one would not like to be treated. Bad religion is that which promotes intolerance and hatred. This is a very well-written book that explores one person's search for meaning. It is worth reading by those who are religious, irreligious or just not sure. For me there remained one unanswered question - How can belief and practice be divorced? Whether one adheres to a religious view or not, our beliefs influence our practices but our practices also affect our beliefs.
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4.2 out of 5 stars (28 customer reviews)
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