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A History of God: the 4000-year quest of Judaism, - download pdf or read online

By Karen Armstrong

"An admirable and ambitious paintings of synthesis that may provide perception and pride to millions of lay readers."THE WASHINGTON put up booklet WORLDIn this stunningly clever publication, Karen Armstrong, one in all Britain's most efficient commentators on spiritual affairs, lines the heritage of ways women and men have perceived and skilled God, from the time of Abraham to the current. From classical philsophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the fashionable age of skepticism, Karen Armstrong plays the close to miracle of distilling the highbrow heritage of monotheism into one fantastically readable quantity, destined to take its position as a vintage.

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Extra resources for A History of God: the 4000-year quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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Everything on earth was thus believed to be a replica of something in the divine world, a perception that informed the mythology, ritual and social organisation of most of the cultures of antiquity and continues to influence more traditional societies in our own day. {1} In ancient Iran, for example, every single person or object in the mundane world (getik) was held to have its counterpart in the archetypal world of sacred reality (menok). This is a perspective that is difficult for us to appreciate in the modern world, since we see autonomy and independence as supreme human values.

The Western experience of God seemed particularly traumatic. What was the reason for this inherent strain? Other monotheists spoke of light and transfiguration. They used very daring imagery to express the complexity of the reality they experienced, which went far beyond the orthodox theology. There has recently been a revived interest in mythology, which may indicate a widespread desire for a more imaginative expression of religious truth. The work of the late American scholar Joseph Campbell has become extremely popular: he has explored the perennial mythology of mankind, linking ancient myths with those still current in traditional societies, is often assumed that the three God-religions are devoid of mythology and poetic symbolism.

The myth also expressed their conviction that Babylon was a sacred place, the centre of the world and the home of the gods - a notion that was crucial in almost all the religious systems of antiquity. The idea of a holy city, where men and women felt that they were closely in touch with sacred power, the source of all being and efficacy, would be important in all three of the monotheistic religions of our own God. Finally, almost as an afterthought, Marduk created humanity. He seized Kingu (the oafish consort of Tiamat, created by her after the defeat of Apsu), slew him and shaped the first man by mixing the divine blood with the dust.

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