Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Great Transformation

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Great Transformation

The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions

by Karen Armstrong

The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 496 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2007, 560 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Karen Armstrong spent seven years as a nun in the Catholic Society of the Holy Child Jesus during the 1960s and later wrote a tell-all book, Through the Narrow Gate (1982) that bemoaned the restrictive life.

She teaches Christianity at London's Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism. It was her first trip to Jerusalem in 1983 that piqued her interest in commonality among faiths. At the time she was an atheist who was "wearied" by religion and "worn out by years of struggle;" but the trip gave her back "a sense of what faith is all about." 

Her books include A History of God (1993), Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths (1996) and The Battle for God (2000).  Continue bio at BookBrowse.....


Also of interest:
A 30 minute NPR radio interview (New York Public Radio, 30 mins).

Select quotes from this interview:

"Too many religious people want to be right not compassionate."
"The practice of compassion is religion."
"Religion is designed not to answer our questions but to help us to ask them and to hold us in an attitude of awe and wonder ... a lot of science does that too."

Did you know? The term Axial Age was coined in 1948 by German philosopher Karl Jaspers to describe the approximate 600 year period from around 800 BC during which the foundations of the world's great religions was laid.

This article was originally published in May 2006, and has been updated for the April 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: If We Were Villains
    If We Were Villains
    by M L. Rio
    22 out of 28 of our reviewers rated If We Were Villains four or five stars, giving it an overall ...
  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Leavers
    The Leavers
    by Lisa Ko
    The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school. A navy blue...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -