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Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong

Islam: A Short History

by Karen Armstrong

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Armstrong is arguably the world's preeminent scholar on comparative religions, having defected as a nun from the Catholic church, lived with Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus in her studies. In this short, concise but well documented book, she lays the groundwork for the alterations to the original religion as seen by the Prophet and the Quran, and follows the political forces that have turned Islam from a religion of peace and acceptance into one, erroneously, seen as terrorist. Armstrong has no axe to grind, favors no one religious claim to inerrancy, and simply tells it like is was and is. Anyone even remotely interested in the world's problems with Islam is encouraged to read this book. ( )
1 vote mldavis2 | Aug 27, 2015 |
  OberlinSWAP | Aug 1, 2015 |
  OberlinSWAP | Aug 1, 2015 |
  OberlinSWAP | Aug 1, 2015 |
Very interesting; learned a lot about Islamic religion; eye-opening. Took notes! ( )
  cindyb29 | Jan 12, 2015 |
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During the holy month of Ramadan in 610 C.E., an Arab businessman had an experience that changed the history of the world.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 081296618X, Paperback)

The picture of Islam as a violent, backward, and insular tradition should be laid to rest, says Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Muhammad and A History of God. Delving deep into Islamic history, Armstrong sketches the arc of a story that begins with the stirring of revelation in an Arab businessman named Muhammad. His concern with the poor who were being left behind in the blush of his society's new prosperity sets the tone for the tale of a culture that values community as a manifestation of God. Muhammad's ideas catch fire, quickly blossoming into a political empire. As the empire expands and the once fractured Arabs subdue and overtake the vast Persian domain, the story of a community becomes a panoramic drama. With great dexterity, Armstrong narrates the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persian influence, the clashes with Western crusaders and Mongolian conquerors, and the spiritual explorations that traced the route to God. Armstrong brings us through the debacle of European colonialism right up to the present day, putting Islamic fundamentalism into context as part of a worldwide phenomenon. Islam: A Short History, like Bruce Lawrence's Shattering the Myth and Mark Huband's Warriors of the Prophet, introduces us to a faith that beckons like a minaret to those who dare to venture beyond the headlines. --Brian Bruya

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:45 -0400)

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No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular imagination as an extreme faith that promotes terrorism, authoritarian government, female oppression, and civil war. In a vital revision of this narrow view of Islam and a distillation of years of thinking and writing about the subject, Karen Armstrong's short history demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.… (more)

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