Faith and Fantastic Article; Karen Armstrong

What happened yesterday morning was that I caught a bit on the radio on my way into work. They were interviewing a lady called Karen Armstrong who has written a book called Spiral staircase (which I’m probably going to buy some point). She was talking about having to
go from living as a nun in a convent to back out in the real world, and she sounded very calm and with some real wisdom-from-experience. Particulary about faith, and belief, and history and concepts. Shame I only caught a few minutes!

I found a good article online, and although I always feel a bit naseous anytime I see something headed with “september 11th” and big american flags, thats not really what the article is about. It’s actually a nice collaboration of different ideas, with lots of informative history and cultural info.. I haven’t read much of it yet because I think it deserves to be printed out and read with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

In this lecture Karen Armstrong, a celebrated writer on the world’s religions, argues that what is needed after Sept. 11 is a “spiritual revolution,” a “new faith,” and that most crises in the modern world can be traced to the loss of a sense of sacredness. In an erudite, wide-ranging account of the spiritual reckoning after Sept. 11, Armstrong draws on texts and anecdotes from ancient literature and from several of the world’s major religious traditions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Sufism, and Confucianism.
One day I hope to be able to lecture like this lady

2 thoughts on “Faith and Fantastic Article; Karen Armstrong”

  1. Teh Spiral Staircase

    I heard her talk [and some of the reading from her book – it’s currently Radio-4’s Book-of-the-week] yesterday morning. Her description of “coming out” from the Nunnery after eight years of almost total seclusion and suddenly being confronted with late-1960s Oxford society was rather amusing.

    Somehow though, I’m not at all sure about the suggestion that a ‘spiritual revolution’ is what the world needs right now. The only people who tend to benefit from revolutions are those who’ve already got nothing to lose. If we do have to have a revolution, can it please be a secular/scientific one – get people to throw away all the mystical mumbo-jumbo that’s held them back in the dark for millennia!

      The Sun arises from his dewy bed, & the fresh airs
      Play in his smiling beams giving the seeds of life to grow,
      And the fresh Earth beams forth ten thousand thousand springs of life.
      Urthona is arisen in his strength, no longer now
      Divided from Enitharmon, no longer the Spectre Los.
      Where is the Spectre of Prophecy? Where the delusive Phantom?
      Departed; & Urthona rises from the ruinous Walls
      In all his ancient strength to form the golden arnmour of science
      For intellectual War. The war of swords departed now,
      The dark Religions are departed & sweet Science reigns.

          1. Re: Teh Spiral Staircase

            If we do have to have a revolution, can it please be a secular/scientific one – get people to throw away all the mystical mumbo-jumbo that’s held them back in the dark for millennia!

            I agree. But probably not in the same way.

            i think there are fundamentally ‘secular’ ideas tied up in spiritual thinking/observation and also a lot of mumbo-jumbo in apparent science.

            (though all these things are just methods rather than answers?)

            I do think we could do with more sense of ‘value’ and perhaps ‘responsibility’ in the world and humanity, no matter where it comes from.

            I feel that a revolution, if it comes, has to be focused on the level of every-day humanity, not intellectualism or spirituality for it’s own sake…

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