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The Case for God – tekijä: Karen…
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The Case for God (vuoden 2009 painos)

– tekijä: Karen Armstrong (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,390379,993 (3.89)54
Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality. While noting that the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level, she makes a powerful, convincing argument for drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:13th.sign
Teoksen nimi:The Case for God
Kirjailijat:Karen Armstrong (Tekijä)
Info:Knopf (2009), Edition: First Edition, 432 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read

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The Case for God (tekijä: Karen Armstrong)

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englanti (35)  hollanti (2)  Kaikki kielet (37)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 37) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In this work, Armstrong tries to directly address some of the "New Atheists" by claiming that the God they are attacking is basically a straw man. She argues that, historically, religious texts were not seen as something meant to be taken literally, that they were starting points from which we could contemplate the ineffable. She believes that religions only started insisting on the literal interpretation of their texts when science and rationalism began to be the way most humans engaged with the world. Some people reacted by trying to prove that their religions and religious texts were compatible with science. This, Armstrong believes, is the God that the New Atheists attack, while leaving alone the god/source/path that most religious people have engaged with over the centuries.

She makes a compelling argument, and this book could find readers on both sides of the God debate. If you agree with the New Atheists, you might be infuriated, but it would still be worth your while. If, on the other hand, the New Atheists infuriate you, even though you don't believe in religious texts literally, then this is definitely worth a read. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
A re-envisioning of the history and future of religion. Apophatic theology and ritual are seen as the real story, with modern literalism as the temporary aberration. It's the Case for God from the postmodern, Western, Christian point of view, which I share. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Amazing experience reading into the history, philosophy and theology of the human race searching for God. Very detailed views on complex issues yet presented in an orgnized way that leaves you reaching your own conclusions. Karen’s subtle, analytic and compassion tone is much needed in such extremely polarized world. ( )
  hivetrick | Feb 22, 2020 |
Masterful and calming. ( )
  Mithril | Oct 19, 2019 |
The Case for God by Karen Armstrong presents a most unsettling picture of mankind’s quest to define God. Every era from antiquity, Greeks, Romans, medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, modern, and the post-modern age based its understanding on the knowledge and culture of that period. These beliefs of Rousseau’s concept of a universal machine, Newton’s God and the universe, Darwin’s evolution, Einstein’s relativity, post-modern atheists of the “God is dead” movement, and the rise of fundamentalism gained some traction. But the search of God continued to be illusive with detractors. It was however determined that the rise of scientific evidence was based on measurement, while religious beliefs centered on virtues. In the epilogue Armstrong did an excellent analysis of what she saw as the foundation of religious beliefs. Nevertheless the contents of this book would be rather disturbing to believers who think they understand their God. ( )
  erwinkennythomas | Oct 5, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 37) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
"The Case for God" should be read slowly, and savored, for its moderating and moving exegesis on the human imperative to "find a transcendent meaning amid life's tragedies."
 
lisäsi Shortride | muokkaaNewsweek, Lisa Miller (Sep 21, 2009)
 
One comes away from reading Armstrong feeling bruised. The words arise with such force and profusion that the point she is trying to make seems to get lost amongst them. Indeed, it is hard to believe, after the pain of reading one of her books, that she has sold so many of them, for who would willingly submit themselves to such torment? As I said earlier, to some extent Karen Armstrong has but one book, and she has written it many times. This is not unusual. But what is unusual is that she should think the same thing worth saying again and again, when she did not succeed, the first time, to say it convincingly. Armstrong must actually argue for her position. She cannot simply assume that telling the history of it will prove her point. Indeed, what Armstrong needs to do is to develop a theology, not by telling the history of theology, but by doing it. If what she has to say is genuinely worthwhile, this is the next step she will take. If she does not do it, we can be assured that the theology she espouses is as thin as this book is thick. Theology is hard work, as she says, and she has yet to do it.
 
This is an eloquent and interesting book, although you do not quite get what it says on the tin. Karen Armstrong takes the reader through a history of religious practice in many different cultures, arguing that in the good old days and purest forms they all come to much the same thing. They use devices of ritual, mystery, drama, dance and meditation in order to enable us better to cope with the vale of tears in which we find ourselves. Religion is therefore properly a matter of a practice, and may be compared with art or music. These are similarly difficult to create, and even to appreciate. But nobody who has managed either would doubt that something valuable has happened in the process. We come out of the art gallery or concert hall enriched and braced, elevated and tranquil, and may even fancy ourselves better people, though the change may or may not be noticed by those around us.

This is religion as it should be, and, according to Armstrong, as it once was in all the world's best traditions. However, there is a serpent in this paradise, as in others. Or rather, several serpents, but the worst is the folly of intellectualising the practice. This makes it into a matter of belief, argument, and ultimately dogma. It debases religion into a matter of belief in a certain number of propositions, so that if you can recite those sincerely you are an adept, and if you can't you fail. This is Armstrong's principal target. With the scientific triumphs of the 17th century, religion stopped being a practice and started to become a theory - in particular the theory of the divine architect. This is a perversion of anything valuable in religious practice, Armstrong writes, and it is only this perverted view that arouses the scorn of modern "militant" atheists. So Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris have chosen a straw man as a target. Real religion is serenely immune to their discovery that it is silly to talk of a divine architect.

So what should the religious adept actually say by way of expressing his or her faith? Nothing. This is the "apophatic" tradition, in which nothing about God can be put into words. Armstrong firmly recommends silence, having written at least 15 books on the topic. Words such as "God" have to be seen as symbols, not names, but any word falls short of describing what it symbolises, and will always be inadequate, contradictory, metaphorical or allegorical. The mystery at the heart of religious practice is ineffable, unapproachable by reason and by language. Silence is its truest expression. The right kind of silence, of course, not that of the pothead or inebriate. The religious state is exactly that of Alice after hearing the nonsense poem "Jabberwocky": "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas - only I don't exactly know what they are." If Alice puts on a dog collar, she will be at one with the tradition.

Armstrong is not presenting a case for God in the sense most people in our idolatrous world would think of it. The ordinary man or woman in the pew or on the prayer mat probably thinks of God as a kind of large version of themselves with mysterious powers and a rather nasty temper. That is the vice of theory again, and as long as they think like that, ordinary folk are not truly religious, whatever they profess. By contrast, Armstrong promises that her kinds of practice will make us better, wiser, more forgiving, loving, courageous, selfless, hopeful and just. Who can be against that?

The odd thing is that the book presupposes that such desirable improvements are the same thing as an increase in understanding - only a kind of understanding that has no describable content. It is beyond words, yet is nevertheless to be described in terms of awareness and truth. But why should we accept that? Imagine that I come out of the art gallery or other trance with a beatific smile on my face. I have enjoyed myself, and feel better. Perhaps I give a coin to the beggar I ignored on the way in. Even if I do so, there is no reason to describe the improvement in terms of my having understood anything. If I feel more generous, well and good, but the proof of that pudding is not my beatific smile but how I behave. As Wittgenstein, whose views on religion Armstrong thoroughly endorses, also said, an inner process stands in need of outward criteria. You can feel good without being good, and be good without stretching your understanding beyond words. Her experience of "Jabberwocky" may have improved Alice.

Silence is just that. It is a kind of lowest common denominator of the human mind. The machine is idling. Which direction it then goes after a period of idling is a highly unpredictable matter. As David Hume put it, in human nature there is "some particle of the dove, mixed in with the wolf and the serpent". So we can expect that some directions will be better and others worse. And that is what, alas, we always find, with or without the song and dance.
 

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Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Karen Armstrongensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Clark, JohnKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Hughes, ShawnKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Paassen, Willem vanKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Werf, Maarten van derKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Wilson, GabrieleKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Wittevewen, AlbertKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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We are talking far too much about God these days, and what we say is often facile.
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One of the first people to make it crystal clear that holiness was inseparable from altruism was the Chinese sage Confucius (551-479 BCE).
Jews and Christians both insisted that...the Bible...gives us no single, orthodox message and demands constant reinterpretation.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality. While noting that the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level, she makes a powerful, convincing argument for drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.

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