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A History of God

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 07:45 am
Some years ago I read Karen Armstrong's biography of the Buddha. It was my first introduction to Buddhism. At the time, I was far more pessimistic about religion, but I appreciated the book as an insightful and fair take on the life of a half mythical, half historical figure. It's worth the read if you get a chance.

Armstrong has another book, New York Times best seller, blah blah blah - A History of God. Amazing. She explores the history of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Armstrong has the ability to see the value and innovation in the ideas she covers while also giving sharp criticism. In my estimation, the book is a fair take on God in the west.

Anyone who is interested in God - theist or otherwise - should check into this book. Her work is scholarly yet readable - not an easy mix to keep when dealing with complex theological issues.
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Didymos Thomas
 
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Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 11:47 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
This is a thread bump. This is the first post I've made for the sole purpose of bringing attention to a particular topic. Listen, friends, this book is a must read. Please. If you have twenty bucks in your pocket, spend those dollars in an efficient manner. Learn something. Buy Karen Armstrong's book.
Sean K
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 02:40 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Yo!

Read the book.

A few times actually, and many others like it.

Loved it and confirmed my position that the idea of God is just that, an idea.

I think that is all well established for the philosophical and historically minded.

The 'idea of God' is now very well documented and anyone still believing in an extraterestial sitting in the clouds throwing lightening bolts is deluded.

Next step is, why God and religion in the first place?

Some recent stuff I have been reading is in regard to the evolutionary adaption of the human to accept the possibility of 'god' and higher spirits.

Why has the human gone down the religious path?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 02:59 pm
@Sean K,
Quote:
The 'idea of God' is now very well documented and anyone still believing in an extraterestial sitting in the clouds throwing lightening bolts is deluded.


Sure, if they take the Greek myths as literal truths, they are probably in need of psychological help.

Quote:
Next step is, why God and religion in the first place?


Armstrong hints at an answer to this in the book, doesn't she?
Sean K
 
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Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Sure, if they take the Greek myths as literal truths, they are probably in need of psychological help.

Armstrong hints at an answer to this in the book, doesn't she?
Not sure from memory, sorry, was a a few years ago, and I don't have her book on me...

I am backpacking through Brazil right now...

Let me continue this shortly....

Sean
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:30 pm
@Sean K,
Backpacking through Brazil. What a trip! Enjoy.
Sean K
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 04:44 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Backpacking through Brazil. What a trip! Enjoy.
Actually, have been living in South America for over a year and my home is in Peru, and I'm now in Sao Paulo on a holiday.

Four weeks on a sort of a holiday really. I don't stop working. Much.

My wife is at a conference dinner and I have to suffer with room service...

Life sux.

eeeeek!

LOL
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:08 pm
@Sean K,
Ah, you'll live Smile

South America - never been there myself, but I sure would like to go.
Sean K
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 12:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
There is a relatively new area of study regarding religiosity (is that a word?) that contends that we are religious due to an evolutionary adaption.

Religion is not the direct adaption but we have adapted in other ways that result in the potential to believe in higher beings.

There's quite a few articles written on it, and I do not have the links on me, but have a quick look at this news piece and then google the names mentioned to get the original concepts.

Happy reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/04/magazine/04evolution.t.html?pagewanted=all
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