A History of God By Karen Armstrong MetaphysicSpirit com

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A History of God By Karen Armstrong,2 The Pdf file is sent as a single rar a b e. 3 The Text and Pdb versions are bundled together in one rar file a b e p. 4 The Ubook version is in zip html format instead of rar a b e p. Structure Folder and Sub Folders,Main Folder HTML Files. Nav Navigation Files,Pic Graphic files,Text Text File. The Ancient Middle East, file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 2 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong,The Kingdom of Israel and Judah 722 586 BCE.
file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 3 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong,Christianity and Judaism CE 50 300. The World of the Fathers of the Church, file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 4 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong, Arabia and Environs at the time of the Prophet Muhammad 570 632 CE. file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 5 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong,The Islamic Empire by 750. The Jews of Islam c 750, file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 6 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM.
A History of God By Karen Armstrong, The Jews Settle in Eastern France and Germany 500 1100. file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 7 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong,The New Christian West during the Middle Ages. Introduction, As a child I had a number of strong religious beliefs but little faith in God There is a distinction between belief in a set of propositions and a. faith which enables us to put our trust in them I believed implicitly in the existence of God I also believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the. Eucharist the efficacy of the sacraments the prospect of eternal damnation and the objective reality of Purgatory I cannot say however that. my belief in these religious opinions about the nature of ultimate reality gave me much confidence that life here on earth was good or. beneficent The Roman Catholicism of my childhood was a rather frightening creed James Joyce got it right in Portrait of the Artist as a Young. Man I listened to my share of hell fire sermons In fact Hell seemed a more potent reality than God because it was something that I could. grasp imaginatively God on the other hand was a somewhat shadowy figure defined in intellectual abstractions rather than images When I. was about eight years old I had to memorise this catechism answer to the question What is God God is the Supreme Spirit Who alone. exists of Himself and is infinite in all perfections Not surprisingly it meant little to me and I am bound to say that it still leaves me cold It has. always seemed a singularly arid pompous and arrogant definition Since writing this book however I have come to believe that it is also. As I grew up I realised that there was more to religion than fear I read the lives of the saints the metaphysical poets T S Eliot and some of. the simpler writings of the mystics I began to be moved by the beauty of the liturgy and though God remained distant I felt that it was. possible to break through to him and that the vision would transfigure the whole of created reality To do this I entered a religious order and as. a novice and a young nun I learned a good deal more about the faith I applied myself to apologetics scripture theology and church history I. delved into the history of the monastic life and embarked on a minute discussion of the Rule of my own order which we had to learn by heart. Strangely enough God figured very little in any of this Attention seemed focused on secondary details and the more peripheral aspects of. religion I wrestled with myself in prayer trying to force my mind to encounter God but he remained a stern taskmaster who observed my. every infringement of the Rule or tantalisingly absent The more I read about the raptures of the saints the more of a failure I felt I was. unhappily aware that what little religious experience I had had somehow been manufactured by myself as I worked upon my own feelings and. imagination Sometimes a sense of devotion was an aesthetic response to the beauty of the Gregorian chant and the liturgy But nothing had. actually happened to me from a source beyond myself I never glimpsed the God described by the prophets and mystics Jesus Christ about. whom we talked far more than about God seemed a purely historical figure inextricably embedded in late antiquity I also began to have. file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 8 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong, grave doubts about some of the doctrines of the Church How could anybody possibly know for certain that the man Jesus had been God. incarnate and what did such a belief mean Did the New Testament really teach the elaborate and highly contradictory doctrine of the. Trinity or was this like so many other articles of the faith a fabrication by theologians centuries after the death of Christ in Jerusalem. Eventually with regret I left the religious life and once freed of the burden of failure and inadequacy I felt my belief in God slip quietly away. He had never really impinged upon my life though I had done my best to enable him to do so Now that I no longer felt so guilty and anxious. about him he became too remote to be a reality My interest in religion continued however and I made a number of television programmes. about the early history of Christianity and the nature of the religious experience The more I learned about the history of religion the more my. earlier misgivings were justified The doctrines that I had accepted without question as a child were indeed man made constructed over a long. period of time Science seemed to have disposed of the Creator God and biblical scholars had proved that Jesus had never claimed to be divine. As an epileptic I had flashes of vision that I knew to be a mere neurological defect had the visions and raptures of the saints also been a mere. mental quirk Increasingly God seemed an aberration something that the human race had outgrown. Despite my years as a nun I do not believe that my experience of God is unusual My ideas about God were formed in childhood and did not. keep abreast of my growing knowledge in other disciplines I had revised simplistic childhood views of Father Christmas I had come to a more. mature understanding of the complexities of the human predicament than had been possible in the kindergarten Yet my early confused ideas. about God had not been modified or developed People without my peculiarly religious background may also find that their notion of God was. formed in infancy Since those days we have put away childish things and have discarded the God of our first years. Yet my study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals Indeed there is a case for arguing that Homo. sapiens is also Homo religiosus Men and women started to worship gods as soon as they became recognisably human they created religions at. the same time as they created works of art This was not simply because they wanted to propitiate powerful forces but these early faiths. expressed the wonder and mystery that seems always to have been an essential component of the human experience of this beautiful yet. terrifying world Like art religion has been an attempt to find meaning and value in life despite the suffering that flesh is heir to Like any. other human actitivity religion can be abused but it seems to have been something that we have always done It was not tacked on to a. primordially secular nature by manipulative kings and priests but was natural to humanity Indeed our current secularism is an entirely new. experiment unprecedented in human history We have yet to see how it will work It is also true to say that our Western liberal humanism is. not something that comes naturally to us like an appreciation of art or poetry it has to be cultivated Humanism is itself a religion without God. not all religions of course are theistic Our ethical secular ideal has its own disciplines of mind and heart and gives people the means of. finding faith in the ultimate meaning of human life that were once provided by the more conventional religions. When I began to research this history of the idea and experience of God in the three related monotheistic faiths of Judaism Christianity and. Islam I expected to find that God had simply been a projection of human needs and desires I thought that he would mirror the fears and. yearnings of society at each stage of its development My predictions were not entirely unjustified but I have been extremely surprised by some. of my findings and I wish that I had learned all this thirty years ago when I was starting out in the religious life It would have saved me a great. deal of anxiety to hear from eminent monotheists in all three faiths that instead of waiting for God to descend from on high I should. deliberately create a sense of him for myself Other Rabbis priests and Sufis would have taken me to task for assuming that God was in any. sense a reality out there they would have warned me not to expect to experience him as an objective fact that could be discovered by the. ordinary rational process They would have told me that in an important sense God was a product of the creative imagination like the poetry. and music that I found so inspiring A few highly respected monotheists would have told me quietly and firmly that God did not really exist. and yet that he was the most important reality in the world. This book will not be a history of the ineffable reality of God itself which is beyond time and change but a history of the way men and women. have perceived him from Abraham to the present day The human idea of God has a history since it has always meant something slightly. different to each group of people who have used it at various points of time The idea of God formed in one generation by one set of human. beings could be meaningless in another Indeed the statement I believe in God has no objective meaning as such but like any other statement. it only means something in context when proclaimed by a particular community Consequently there is not one unchanging idea contained in. the word God but the word contains a whole spectrum of meanings some of which are contradictory or even mutually exclusive Had the. notion of God not had this flexibility it would not have survived to become one of the great human ideas When one conception of God has. ceased to have meaning or relevance it has been quietly discarded and replaced by a new theology A fundamentalist would deny this since. fundamentalism is anti historical it believes that Abraham Moses and the later prophets all experienced their God in exactly the same way as. people do today Yet if we look at our three religions it becomes clear that there is no objective view of God each generation has to create the. image of God that works for them The same is true of atheism The statement I do not believe in God has always meant something slightly. different at each period of history The people who have been dubbed atheists over the years have always been denied a particular conception. of the divine Is the God who is rejected by atheists today the God of the patriarchs the God of the prophets the God of the philosophers the. God of the mystics or the God of the eighteenth century deists All these deities have been venerated as the God of the Bible and the Koran by. Jews Christians and Muslims at various points of their history We shall see that they are very different from one another Atheism has often. been a transitional state thus Jews Christians and Muslims were all called atheists by their pagan contemporaries because they had adopted a. file D Program 20Files eMule Incoming History 20of 20God 20 20Karen 20Armstrong histgod htm 9 of 198 6 29 2005 11 31 12 PM. A History of God By Karen Armstrong, revolutionary notion of divinity and transcendence Is modern atheism a similar denial of a God which is no longer adequate to the problems of.
Despite its other worldliness religion is highly pragmatic We hall see that it is far more important for a particular idea of God to work than for. it to be logically or scientifically sound As soon as it ceases to be effective it will be changed sometimes for something radically different. This did not disturb most monotheists before our own day because they were quite clear that their ideas about God were not sacrosanct but. could only be provisional They were man made they could be nothing else and quite separate from the indescribable Reality they. symbolised Some developed quite audacious ways of emphasising this essential distinction One medieval mystic went so far as to say that this. ultimate Reality mistakenly called God was not even mentioned in the Bible Throughout history men and women have experienced a. dimension of the spirit that seems to transcend the mundane world Indeed it is an arresting characteristic of the human mind to be able to. conceive concepts that go beyond it in this way However we choose to interpret it this human experience of transcendence has been a fact of. life Not everybody would regard it as divine Buddhists as we shall see would deny that their visions and insights are derived from a. delved into the history of the monastic life and embarked on a minute discussion of the Rule of my own order which we had to learn by heart Strangely enough God figured very little in any of this Attention seemed focused on secondary details and the more peripheral aspects of religion I wrestled with myself in prayer trying to force my mind to encounter God but he remained a stern

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