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Karen Armstrong Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Beginning the World (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The First Christian (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gospel According to Woman (1986)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Holy War (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The English Mystics of the Fourteenth Century (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The End of Silence (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A History of God (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Visions of God (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jerusalem (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Beginning (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shifting Ground and Cultural Bodies (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Battle for God (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Faith After 11 September (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Great Transformation (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Case for God (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to The Hebrews (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Letter To Pakistan (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fields of Blood (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lost Art of Scripture (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sacred Nature (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Story Of God (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Biographies & Memoirs

Through the Narrow Gate (1981)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Buddha (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spiral Staircase (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Books That Changed the World Books

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (By: Christopher Hitchens) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Qur'an: A Biography (By: Bruce B. Lawrence) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Darwin's Origin of Species: A Biography (By: Janet Browne) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Plato's Republic (By: Simon Blackburn) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On The Wealth of Nations (By: P.J. O'Rourke) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey (By: Alberto Manguel) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bible (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Qur'an (By: Bruce B. Lawrence) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Darwin's Origin of Species (By: Janet Browne) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Plato's Republic (By: Simon Blackburn) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Clausewitz's on War (By: Hew Strachan) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Marx's Das Kapital (By: Francis Wheen) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Canongate's The Myths Books

A Short History of Myth (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lion's Honey: The Myth of Samson (By: David Grossman) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Penelopiad (By: Margaret Atwood) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Weight (By: Jeanette Winterson) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Helmet of Horror (By: Victor Pelevin) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where Three Roads Meet (By: Salley Vickers) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Binu and the Great Wall (By: Su Tong) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Baba Yaga Laid an Egg (By: Dubravka Ugrešić) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Goddess Chronicle (By: Natsuo Kirino) (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Eminent Lives Books

Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
George Balanchine (By: Robert Gottlieb) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beethoven (By: Edmund Morris) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thomas Jefferson (By: Christopher Hitchens) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Caravaggio (By: Francine Prose) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Alexander the Great (By: Norman F. Cantor) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Freud (By: Peter D. Kramer) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Francis Crick (By: Matt Ridley) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Alexis de Tocqueville (By: Joseph Epstein) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakespeare (By: Bill Bryson) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Machiavelli (By: Ross King) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
George Washington (By: Paul Johnson) (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Icons Books

Jesus (By: Jay Parini) (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Edgar Allan Poe (By: Paul Collins) (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Van Gogh (By: Julian Bell) (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
St Paul (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Modern Library Chronicles Books

California (By: Kevin Starr) (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Communism (By: Richard Pipes) (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
London (By: A.N. Wilson) (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Balkans (By: Mark Mazower) (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The German Empire (By: Michael Sturmer) (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Catholic Church (By: Hans Küng) (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Peoples and Empires (By: Anthony Pagden) (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hitler and the Holocaust (By: Robert S. Wistrich) (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Law in America (By: Lawrence M. Friedman) (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The American Revolution (By: Gordon S. Wood) (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 (By: Ian Buruma) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Americas (By: Felipe Fernández-Armesto) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boys' Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe 1944-45 (By: Paul Fussell) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Reformation (By: Patrick Collinson) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Company (By: Adrian Wooldridge,John Micklethwait) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Age of Shakespeare (By: Frank Kermode) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Age of Napoleon (By: Alistair Horne) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (By: David Berlinski) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Evolution (By: Edward J. Larson) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nazism and War (By: Richard Bessel) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The City (By: Joel Kotkin) (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Short History of Medicine (By: F. González-Crussí) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World & the Christian West (By: Milton Viorst) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Baseball (By: George Vecsey) (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hellenistic Age (By: Peter Green) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind (By: Colin Renfrew) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Renaissance (By: Paul Johnson) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Islam (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Christian World (By: Martin E. Marty) (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (By: Margaret MacMillan) (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (By: Stephen Kotkin,Jan Tomasz Gross) (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Romantic Revolution (By: Timothy C.W. Blanning) (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Korean War (By: Bruce Cumings) (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Tongues of Fire(1986)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Changing Face of God(2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
God at 2000(2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong is a British author and commentator of Irish Catholic descent known for her books about comparative religion. She was born November 14, 1944 at Wildmoor, Worcestershire into a family who, after she was born, moved to Bromsgrove and later to Birmingham.

In the year 1962, when she was 17 years old, she became a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, a teaching congregation, in which she stayed in for seven years. Karen says that she suffered psychological and physical abuse in the convent. She was required to wear a spiked chain around her arm and mortify her flesh with whips. When she spoke out of turn, she says that she was forced to sew at this treadle machine without a needle for a fortnight.

Once Karen had advanced from postulant and novice to professed nun, she enrolled in St. Anne’s College, Oxford, in order to study English. Armstrong left her order in the year 1969 while she was still a student at Oxford.

After she graduated with a Congratulatory First, she embarked on a DPhil on the poet Alfred Tennyson. She wrote her dissertation on a topic which was approved by the university committee. Nevertheless, it got failed by her external examiner on the grounds that her topic was unsuitable. She didn’t formally protest the verdict, nor did she work on a new topic but abandoned hope of an academic career instead. Karen says that this part of her life was marked by ill health stemming from her lifelong yet, at this time, still undiagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy.

In 1976, she took a teaching job at James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich in the English department as she worked on a memoir of her convent experiences, which was published in 1982 as “Through the Narrow Gate”.

That same year, she embarked on a new career as a broadcasting presenter and independent writer. Then in 1984, the British Channel Four hired her to write and present a television documentary on the life of St. Paul, the First Christian, a project which involved traveling to the Holy Land to retrace the saint’s steps. Karen describes this visit as a breakthrough experience which defied her prior assumptions and gave her the inspiration for virtually all of her subsequent work.

She is unmarried. And although she was once a self described ‘freelance monotheist’, she began to later feel like a Confucian, more than anything.

In 2008, she was awarded the $100,000 TED Prize and started working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, crafted by leading thinkers in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, and created online by the general public. Also in 2008, Karen was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. In the year 2013, she got the British Academy’s inaugural Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Trans cultural Understanding.

“A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” is a non-fiction book that was released in 1993. Karen’s superbly readable exploration of just how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force.

Armstrong traces the history of how women and men have experienced and perceived God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From medieval mysticism and classical philosophy to the Enlightenment, the Reformation, and the modern age of skepticism. She performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into a single compelling volume.

“The Case for God” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2001. Karen Armstrong, while moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, details the great lengths to which mankind has gone to in order to experience this sacred reality which is called by many names like Nirvana, Brahman, Dao, God, or Allah.

Focusing particularly on Christianity but including Chinese, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism spiritualities, she examines the diminished impulse toward religion during our own time, when a significant number of people either question the efficacy of faith or want nothing to do with God. Why has God become something so unbelievable? Why is it that theists and atheists alike now speak and think about God in such a way that veers so profoundly from our ancestors’ way of thinking?

Answering such questions with the same profound insight and depth of knowledge which marked all of her acclaimed books, Karen makes it clear how the changing face of the world has also necessarily changed the importance of religion at both the individual and societal level. She also makes a powerful and convincing argument for drawing upon the insights of the past so that a faith can be built which speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.

But she still cautions us that religion was never supposed to provide us answers which lie inside of the competence of human reason, this is the role of logos, she tells us. Religion’s task is to help us live more peacefully, creatively, and even joyously with realities that we don’t have easy explanations for. She also emphasizes too, that religion is not going to work automatically. It is just as practical as its insights are derived not from abstract speculation however from ‘dedicated intellectual endeavor’ and is a compassionate lifestyle which enables us to break free of the prism of selfhood.

“The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2004. Karen Armstrong entered a convent in order to meet God. After spending seven savagely unhappy years as a nun, she left her order so she could pursue English literature at Oxford. However convent life had altered her profoundly, and coping with the outside world and her own expiring faith proved to be excruciating.

Her horrifying illness and deep solitude marked her forever as an outsider. And in her own mind she was a total failure: as an academic, as a nun, and as a normal woman capable of intimacy. Her future appeared to be in question until she stumbled across comparative theology. What she discovered, in thinking, in learning, and writing about other religions, was the transcendence and ecstasy that she’d never felt as a nun.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen Armstrong

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