It's a great event to get outside and enjoy nature. I find it very exciting no matter how many times I see bald eagles.

— Karen Armstrong

The most memorable Karen Armstrong quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.

77

If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, of self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God's name, it was bad theology.

68

Every single one of the major world faiths, whether we're talking about Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Darwinism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have all come to the conclusion that what holds us back from our better self is ego, selfishness, greed, unkindness, hatred. And it all springs from a sense of thwarted ego.

60

Each of the world religions has its own particular genius, its own special insight into the nature and requirements of compassion, and has something unique to teach us.

56

Compassion is not an option. It's the key to our survival.

52

Yet a personal God can become a grave liability.

He can be a mere idol carved in our own image, a projection of our limited needs, fears and desires. We can assume that he loves what we love and hates what we hate, endorsing our prejudices instead of compelling us to transcend them.

51

Religion isn’t about believing things.

It's ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.

48

The hajj is one of the five essential practices of Islam;

when they make the pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims ritually act out the central principles of their faith.

31

If we don't manage to implement the Golden Rule globally, so that we treat all peoples, wherever and whoever they may be, as though they were as important as ourselves, I doubt that we'll have a viable world to hand on to the next generation.

30

...there is something wrong with any spirituality that does not inspire selfless concern for others

29

A mode of knowledge rooted in silence and intuitive insight which gives meaning to life but which cannot be explained in rational terms.

19

Like art, religion is an imaginative and creative effort to find a meaning and value in human life.

17

About Karen Armstrong

Quotes 132 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy.

And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.

15

God [is] not the exclusive property of any one tradition.

The divine light [cannot] be confined to a single lamp, belonging to the East or the West, but enlightens all human beings.

15

Compassion is aptly summed up in the Golden Rule, which asks us to look into our own hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism.

13

From the Muslims I learned from the extraordinary pluralism of the Koran, the fact that the Koran endorses every single one of the major world faiths, but I was particularly enthralled by the Sufi tradition, the mystical tradition of Islam, which is so open to other religious faiths.

13

Well, logos is science or reason, something that helps us to function practically and effectively in the world, and it must therefore be closely in tune and reflect accurately the realities of the world around us.

12

Let us bring something new to the table.

Let us use our pain always to remember the others, bring them into the conversation, and get beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that create injustice all over the world.

12

Creation stories had never been regarded as historically accurate;

their purpose was therapeutic. But once you start reading Genesis as scientifically valid, you have bad science and bad religion.

12

Some people simply bury their heads in the sand and refuse to think about the sorrow of the world, but this is an unwise course, because, if we are entirely unprepared, the tragedy of life can be devastating.

9

And sometimes it's the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn't belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.

9

We talk about God as though he was like a somebody.

We ask him to bless our nation, or save our Queen, or give us a fine day for the picnic. And we actually expect him to be on our side in an election or war even though our opponents are also God's children.

9

there is no ascent to the heights without prior descent into darkness, no new life without some form of death.

7

The great task of our time is to build a global society, where people can live together in peace

6

Golden Rule lies at the heart of every religious and of every ethical system of morality, it what makes us look at one another. The religions have all adopted it independently, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, because they find it works and because it says something very deep about the structure of our humanity.

6

Often when religious leaders come together, they talk about a particular sexual ethic, or an abstruse doctrine, as though this, rather than compassion, was the test of spiritual life.

6

At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France.

5

Saint Augustine ... insisted that scripture taught nothing but charity. Whatever the biblical author may have intended, any passage that seemed to preach hatred and was not conducive to love must be interpreted allegorically and made to speak of charity.

5

If your child dies, or you witness a terrible natural disaster, yes, you certainly want a scientific explanation as to what's happened. But science can't help you to find meaning, help you deal with that turbulence of your grief, rage, and dismay.

5

There is a danger in monotheism, and it's called idolatry.

And we know the prophets of Israel were very, very concerned about idolatry, the worship of a human expression of the divine.

4

Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the west at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death.

4

Mohammed was not an apparent failure.

He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.

4

My greatest solace is my study. If I am deprived of my study, I can become lost, unhappy and unhinged.

3

Now I think one of the reasons why religion developed in the way that it did over the centuries was precisely to curb this murderous bent that we have as human beings.

3

Intelligence doesn't just mean tracking down terrorists;

It means finding out what is in people's hearts and minds and discovering the complexity of most issues.

3

The values of Islam are expressed by Muslims clearly.

September 11 changed the world, and put Muslims on the spotlight.

3

Deeds that seemed unimportant at the time would prove to have been momentous;

a tiny act of selfishness and unkindness or, conversely, an unconsidered act of generosity would become the measure of a human life.

3

There must be no coercion in matters of faith!

3

Every fundamentalist movement I've studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.

3

Compassion is not feeling sorry for others. It's not soft. It requires an intellectual effort.

3

If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known.

3

After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it. If I saw someone reading a religious book on a train, I'd think, how awful.

3

If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void.

3

Religion is not a nice thing. It is potentially a very dangerous thing because it involves a heady complex of emotions, desires, yearnings and fears.

3

Far from being the father of jihad, [Prophet] Mohammad was a peacemaker, who risked his life and nearly lost the loyalty of his closest companions because he was determined to effect a reconciliation with Mecca

2

So, we think about God far to easily and that's because of a lot of social, intellectual, and scientific changes that have taken place in the western world and that has made God very problematic for a lot of people.

2

Religious ideas and practices take root not because they are promoted by forceful theologians, nor because they can be shown to have a sound historical or rational basis, but because they are found in practice to give the faithful a sense of sacred transcendence.

2

You are your best self when you give yourself away.

2

Religion is a practical discipline and in the 17th century in the West, we turned it onto a head trip. But it's like dancing, or swimming, or driving, which you can't learn by texts. You have to get into the car and learn how to manipulate the vehicle.

2
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