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Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong Enlarge Photo

Photo © Nicolas Latimer

  • About this Author
author spotlight

Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religious affairs, including The Case for God, A History of God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation. She lives in London.
 
In February 2008 Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize and began working on the Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The charter was launched in November 2009 and Armstrong is working with TED and the Compassionate Action Network to build an international network of Compassionate Cities dedicated to implementing the Charter realistically and practically into 21st century urban life. Other partners are working vigorously and creatively to promote the compassionate ideal in Pakistan and the Middle East.  
 
The author invites you to start a Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life Reading Group in your community, school, or workplace. An Organizer’s Guide, including tips for starting the group, discussion questions, sample promotional material, and more, can be found online at www.CharterForCompassion.org/Learn/ReadingGroups.

author bookshelf
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Exam Copy
The Battle for God
A History of Fundamentalism
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: January 30, 2001
Price: $15.95

In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Battle for God
A History of Fundamentalism
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 480 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $13.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Case for God

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 7, 2010
Price: $16.95

A nuanced exploration of the part that religion plays in human life, drawing on the insights of the past in order to build a faith that speaks to the needs of our dangerously polarized age.

Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

The Case for God

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 432 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 22, 2009
Price: $14.99

Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and a trade paperback.


Available
November 4, 2014
Exam Copy
Fields of Blood
Religion and the History of Violence
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 4, 2014
Price: $30.00

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Fields of Blood
Religion and the History of Violence
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 432 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 4, 2014
Price: $

Read more >

The Great Transformation
The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: March 28, 2006
Price: $14.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
The Great Transformation
The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: April 10, 2007
Price: $16.95

From one of the world’s leading writers on religion and the highly acclaimed author of the bestselling A History of God, The Battle for God and The Spiral Staircase, comes a major new work: a chronicle of one of the most important intellectual revolutions in world history and its relevance to... Read more >

Exam Copy
History of God

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: August 9, 1994
Price: $17.00

Do we need God? Why does God exist? In her provocative response to questions like these, Karen Armstrong traces the development of the idea of one god in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

For over 4,000 years the idea of a single divine being has existed. In this masterful and illuminating work... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

History of God

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 496 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Holy War
The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: November 27, 2001
Price: $18.00

In 1095, with the tomb of Jesus still in the hands of infidels and the Byzantine empire overrun by Muslim Turks, Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and their swords against the Turks and then recover the holy city of Jerusalem from Islam. It was to... Read more >

Exam Copy
In the Beginning
A New Interpretation of Genesis
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: October 7, 1997
Price: $15.00

Now Karen Armstrong offers a companion book for those who read her compelling, best-selling A History of God. In the Beginning is a provocative new look at the great stories of the Book of Genesis, a commentary on their meaning both historically and in our time. In the Beginning includes both... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

In the Beginning
A New Interpretation of Genesis
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 208 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $13.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Islam
A Short History
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: August 6, 2002
Price: $15.95

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... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Islam
A Short History
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 272 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: December 18, 2007
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Jerusalem
One City, Three Faiths
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: April 29, 1997
Price: $18.00

Karen Armstrong shows how Jerusalem has become that defining place for adherents of the three religions of Abraham. In her view, the city has been not only a symbol of God on earth, but is also a deeply rooted part of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim identity. She traces Jerusalem's physical... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Jerusalem
One City, Three Faiths
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 512 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: August 10, 2011
Price: $15.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Spiral Staircase
My Climb Out of Darkness
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 22, 2005
Price: $14.95

Karen Armstrong begins this spellbinding story of her spiritual journey with her departure in 1969 from the Roman Catholic convent she had entered seven years before—hoping, but ultimately failing, to find God. She knew almost nothing of the changed world to which she was returning and she was tormented by panic... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Spiral Staircase
My Climb Out of Darkness
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 336 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: December 18, 2007
Price: $11.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: December 28, 2010
Price: $11.99

Read more >

Exam Copy
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: December 27, 2011
Price: $14.95

In this important and thought-provoking work, Karen Armstrong—one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—provides an impassioned and practical guide to helping us make the world a more compassionate place.

The twelve steps she suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion,” and close with “Love Your... Read more >

Exam Copy
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: December 28, 2010
Price: $24.00

One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha—now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place.

Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is... Read more >

Exam Copy
Visions Of God
Four Medieval Mystics and Their Writings
Written by Karen Armstrong


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Bantam
On Sale: November 1, 1994
Price: $19.00

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