Karen Armstrong

Acclaimed religious historian discusses her book, The Case for God. Houston, Texas, Wortham Center, October 8, 2009.

Q&A part 1. Personal transformation, practice versus doctrine, pluralism, Islam, fundamentalism. 17:02

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Q&A part 2. Our frightened era, her idea of God, Charter for Compassion. 14:33

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SHORT. Perspective on the after life. 3:22

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SHORT. Islam's view of the West. 4:51

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Karen Armstrong is introduced by Progressive Forum president, Randall R. Morton. 1:27

Karen Armstrong | October 8, 2009 | Wortham Center | The Progressive Forum


Karen Armstrong is one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs. Her fascinating book, The Case for God (2009), moves from the Paleolithic age to the present, detailing the great lengths to which humanity has gone to experience a sacred reality, with a focus on the kind of faith that speaks to our polarized modern times. Starting with cave paintings 17,000 years old, Armstrong sweeps through rich veins of history, featuring great sages such as Pythagoras, Aristotle, Galileo, Luther, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Darwin, Freud, and Nietzsche, to name just a few. The author of 19 books, Karen Armstrong gained prominence with her masterpiece, A History of God: The 4,000 year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1994). Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, she has been a sought-after authority on Islam and fundamentalism. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress and audiences at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the United Nations. Armstrong spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but left, saying she wanted nothing to do with religion. But on a film project with the BBC, she discovered how little she knew about religious history. Her story of transformation is detailed in Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. She calls herself a “free lance monotheist." We are pleased to share the Q&A portion of the event.

Thanks to event sponsor:
The Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance at Rice University
Thanks to videographer:
Gotham Image Works
For citing this website as a source: ProgressiveForumHouston.org
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