Karen Armstrong, a provocative original thinker whose many books on religion have educated a generation of modern seekers. Armstrong has a unique perspective. She’s a former nun who moved on to academia to study comparative religion and has become an advocate for the Golden Rule. Her books on Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and the History of God are a wealth of information and have become must reads for those who study or practice religion. He autobiographical works are well worth reading: The Spiral Staircase is particularly compelling!
Reordered at Conway Hall by Action For Happiness on April 18, 2013
If I can add to Pastor Dawn’s list …. Karen Armstrong’s latest book: “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life”. It’s excellent reading!
And while on the subject of compassion …. please include in your reading list 2 wonderful books based on the teachings of the Dalai Lama (although all of his books/books about him are profound): “How to be Compassionate: A Handbook for Creating Inner Peace and a Happier World”, and “An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life” (edited by Nicholas Vreeland). Finally, no reading list would be complete without reference to Henri Nouwen and Jean Vanier. Although I may be on a different page when it comes to comparing their “theology” with my own, both of these great spiritual leaders offer inspiring insights on how we can (all) transform our lives into a way of compassion, and a journey of love.
Thank-you Marcus. “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” is on top of my pile of books waiting to accompany me to the cottage and I am very much looking forward to reading it!!! I have enjoyed Nouwen’s work in the past (his Wounded Healer was pivotal to my early understanding of pastoral ministry). But I wonder about how I’d manage his theology today. I suspect that like Vanier, his compassion will mitigate the way I read his conservative theology. I have only begun to dabble in the work of the Dalai Lama.
It’s interesting … I also came through conservative theology with many bruises, scars, and broken joints. But it was the writings of Nouwen and Vanier that helped change my thinking so that, over time, I focused less on theology and more on “a Way” of being. It was only when I started to read Spong, and Borg, and Funk, and Crossan, and McLaren (and many others, including Rohr) that I discovered the freedom to think differently … and to see Scripture in a different way and in a brighter light. It’s been a long journey of change ( .. that still continues for me).
I’m glad that I can now add your voice to that group of “theology liberators”. Enjoy your time at the cottage!