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A History of God - Karen Armstrong

Paperback Published: 5th February 1999
ISBN: 9780099273677
Number Of Pages: 560

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The idea of a single divine being - God, Yahweh, Allah - has existed for over 4,000 years. But the history of God is also the history of human struggle. While Judaism, Islam and Christianity proclaim the goodness of God, organised religion has too often been the catalyst for violence and ineradicable prejudice.

In this fascinating, extensive and original account of the evolution of belief, Karen Armstrong examines Western society's unerring fidelity to this idea of One God and the many conflicting convictions it engenders. A controversial, extraordinary story of worship and war, A History of God confronts the most fundamental fact - or fiction - of our lives.

About the Author

Karen Armstrong is one of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but then left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne's College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a best-selling author of over 15 books. An accomplished writer and passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and the Senate and has participated in the World Economic Forum.

Industry Reviews

"This is the most fascinating and learned survey of the biggest wild-goose chase in history - the quest for God. Karen Armstrong is a genius." - A.N. Wilson

"A splendidly readable book... the stage is set for the question: has God a future?" - Sister Wendy Beckett, Sunday Times

"We are all watching a daily fight between the darkness and light. What we want, but may never get, is assurance that the light will prevail. Armstrong is too tough a thinker to offer us comfort there." - Anthony Burgess, Observer

"Armstrong shows a reverent curiosity and a generosity of spirit, refreshing the understanding of what one knows and providing a clear introduction to the unfamiliar." - Rt. Revd. Robert Runcie, Daily Telegraph

"Witty, informative and contemplative: Ms Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic." - New York Times Book Review

"Magisterial and brilliant." - Kirkus Reviews

"Highly readable and provocative, this is a major contribution to religious studies and belongs on the shelves of most public libraries." - Ilene Cooper, Booklist

"Armstrong presents a well-written overview of the changing idea of God as understood by the three great religions of the West." - Library Journal

"This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate." - Publishers Weekly


1. In the Beginning
2. One God
3. A Light to the Gentiles
4. Trinity: The Christian God
5. Unity: The God of Islam
6. The God of the Philosophers
7. The God of the Mystics
8. A God of Reformers
9. Enlightenment
10. The Death of God?
11. Has God a Future?


ISBN: 9780099273677
ISBN-10: 0099273675
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 5th February 1999
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.9  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1