Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life Summary and Reviews

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

by Karen Armstrong

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2010
    240 pages
    Genre: Advice

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Book Summary

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 intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life.

The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with "Learn About Compassion" and close with "Love Your Enemies." In between, she takes up "compassion for yourself," mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and "concern for everybody." She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to "hear one another's narratives." Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.

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Media Reviews

"This counter to the religion-is-homicidal-and-superstitious school of invective passing for thought is well-informed, welcome, and practical." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Karen Armstrong Author Biography

Joe Pickering

Karen Armstrong, author, scholar, and journalist, is among the world's foremost commentators on religious history and culture.

She is the author of numerous books on religion, including The Case for God, A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public, crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It was launched globally in the fall of 2009. Also in 2008, she was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. In 2013, she received the British Academy'...

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