Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence Audio CD – Audiobook, 28 Oct 2014
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"Karen Armstrong's wonderful book certainly cleanses the mind. It may even do a little repair work on the heart" (Ferdinand Mount Spectator)
"Karen Armstrong is one of our most perceptive and thoughtful writers on religion... Consistently surprising and illuminating, Fields of Blood should be read by anyone interested in understanding the interaction of religion with violence in the modern world" (John Gray New Statesman)
"A fascinating and very accessible book... Fields of Blood is a must read for those who want to work for justice and peace." (Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Oxford)
"Mind-boggling… we feel we are in the hands of an expert. Armstrong is doing us a great service" (David Shariatmadari Guardian)
"Elegant and powerful, erudite and accurate...dazzling in its breadth and historical detail" (Washington Post)
"Riveting… Armstrong is one of our most erudite expositors of religion… a rare mix of cool-headed scholarship and impassioned concern" (Sally Vickers Observer)
"A powerful and important work of scholarship, synthesis and argument... It is also a remarkably pleasurable read" (Peter Marshall Literary Review)
"A magisterial debunking of the secularist tale" (Nigel Baggar Standpoint)
"A welcome counterblast... Excellent" (Jonathan Wright BBC History Magazine)
"Her view of religion is broad and deep, identifying it both with a universal need for meaning, and with the human desire for community" (Ian Bell Herald)
"Engaging… Makes its case eloquently" (Scott Appleby Tablet)
"A hefty yet accessible tome that debunks myths, fires debate and helps explain some of the chaos in the world today" (Choice Magazine)
"Well researched, insightful and revelatory… A compelling argument" (Dean Haigh UK Press Syndication)
"Armstrong offers both a convincing rebuttal of some key New Atheist arguments, and hope for a better future" (Church Times)
"Taking us from prehistoric to modern times, Karen Armstrong deftly manages her vast subject, and her conclusions will surprise you" (Good Book Guide)
"A disturbing and refreshing view of 20,000 years of human society" (Kate Cooper History Today)
"thought-provoking" (three stars Daily Telegraph)
"Armstrong is doing us a great service" (David Shariatmadari Guardian) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Our foremost scholar of religion challenges one of the most persistent myths of our time: that religion has been the cause of all major wars. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I made that sentence deliberately vague because that is where the problems start. She says she is attacking the common notion that ALL wars are caused by religion. The trouble is, most people know that religion didn’t cause ALL wars. The question is how much blame does religion take?
She gives a good argument that things are not as simple as they first seem. Religion is often deeply infused into culture, making responsibility difficult to attribute. There is wisdom in that. Unfortunately she replaces one overly simple thesis with two more: that wars occur because men like fighting (her own words) and because nation states are inherently violent.
She shows interesting examples of religion promoting peace in India and China (did anyone doubt that there have been such examples?) What would be interesting to explore is whether western religions based on the idea of one true God have been more violent than eastern religions which are less jealous.
I couldn’t help feeling that this former nun is trying too hard to protect something dear to her heart. She even claims that jihad fighters are not motivated by religion, relying on a tiny instance of one or two reading a book on Islam for Dummies.
Atrocitology by Matthew White carried out a more impartial study of violent death throughout history. He found that 50 million people have been slaughtered in the name of religion. That is relatively small on the scale of mankind's atrocities, but it is still a lot.
Armstrong holds the view that man is not inherently war-like, and that hunter-gatherers had neither time nor organisation to wage war because an army is needed to wage a war, and hunter-gatherers, she says, have neither time nor resources to raise armies. Wars arose only after human society turned agrarian. Armstrong embarks on a world tour beginning with India, explaining how violence inherent in early Indian religion was subsequently brought under control by the renouncers of violence. She expanded her account into ancient China to emphasise that the influence of Confucius and Mozi in reining the violent excesses of the Chinese warrior kings.
Armstrong then sweeps from the Far East to the Middle-East and examines the role of religion and politics according to Jesus, and from there, to the Byzantine Empire, the cradle of religious wars. Before proceeding to that most famous of religious military campaigns known as `The Crusades', Armstrong digresses to explain the `Muslim Dilemma' - how might Islamic justice be achieved in a belligerent, imperial state?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of all the religious sects, Islam is the only one with an absolute religious command and obligation to fight, to kill and be killed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jennifer
but can't really comment as it is still in my pile of books waiting to be readPublished 6 months ago by christina holttum
Every one must read books by Karen Armstrong .sge is the only writer of history to read her books without any considerationPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Karen Armstrong considers herself an authority on religion but appears unable to distinguish between fact and opinion, often presenting the two as facts. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Neutral
This is probably a great book. I wouldn't know from the paperback as about to return it as the font is tiny.Published 8 months ago by James Osborn
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