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Read online The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions.pdf PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Now Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times .

In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Later generations further developed these initial insights but we have never grown beyond them Rabbinic Judaism Christianity and Islam for example were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision Now in The Great Transformation Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times .

Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha Socrates Confucius Jeremiah Ezekiel the mystics of the Upanishads Mencius and Euripides All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time Despite some differences of emphasis there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion With regard to dealing with fear despair hatred rage and violence the Axial sages gave their people and give us Armstrong says two important pieces of advice first there must be personal responsibility and self criticism and it must be followed by practical effective action .

In her introduction and concluding chapter Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today In our various institutions we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering In each Axial Age case a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change by Karen Armstrong

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The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Title:The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Format Type:eBook PDF / e-Pub
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ISBN:0385721242
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:592
Category:religion, non-fiction, history, philosophy, spirituality, theology
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A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Islam: A Short History, A Short History of Myth, The Bible: A Biography (Books That Changed the World), The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness, The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, Buddha, Muhammad, The Case for God
In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Now Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times br br In the ninth century BCE the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day Confucianism and Daoism in China Hinduism and Buddhism in India monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece Later generations further developed these initial insights but we have never grown beyond them Rabbinic Judaism Christianity and Islam for example were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision Now in The Great Transformation Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal Axial Age can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times br br Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha Socrates Confucius Jeremiah Ezekiel the mystics of the Upanishads Mencius and Euripides All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time Despite some differences of emphasis there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion With regard to dealing with fear despair hatred rage and violence the Axial sages gave their people and give us Armstrong says two important pieces of advice first there must be personal responsibility and self criticism and it must be followed by practical effective action br br In her introduction and concluding chapter Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today In our various institutions we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering In each Axial Age case a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change, No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism authoritarian government female oppression and civil war In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject Karen Armstrong s short history demonstrates that the world s fastest growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest, 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 that it called by many names such as God Brahman Nirvana Allah or Dao Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism Islam Buddhism Hinduism and Chinese spiritualities Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith Why has God become unbelievable Why is it that atheists and theists alike now think and speak about God in a way that veers so profoundly from the thinking of our ancestors br br Answering these questions with the same depth of knowledge and profound insight that have marked all her acclaimed books Armstrong makes clear how the changing face of the world has necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the societal and the individual level And 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 Yet she cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide answers that lie within the competence of human reason that she says is the role of i logos i The task of religion is to help us live creatively peacefully and even joyously with realities for which there are no easy explanations She emphasizes too that religion will not work automatically It is she says a practical discipline its insights are derived not from abstract speculation but from dedicated intellectual endeavor and a compassionate lifestyle that enables us to break out of the prism of selfhood, In our supposedly secular age governed by reason and technology fundamentalism has emerged as an overwhelming force in every major world religion Why This is the fascinating disturbing question that bestselling author Karen Armstrong addresses in her brilliant new book i The Battle for God i Writing with the broad perspective and deep understanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for i A History of God i Armstrong illuminates the spread of militant piety as a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history br br Contrary to popular belief fundamentalism is not a throwback to some ancient form of religion but rather a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world As Armstrong argues the collapse of a piety rooted in myth and cult during the Renaissance forced people of faith to grasp for new ways of being religious and fundamentalism was born Armstrong focuses here on three fundamentalist movements Protestant fundamentalism in America Jewish fundamentalism in Israel and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran exploring how each has developed its own unique way of combating the assaults of modernity br br Blending history sociology and spirituality i The Battle for God i is a compelling and compassionate study of a radical form of religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history