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The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2006)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385721242, Paperback)From Karen Armstrong, the bestselling author of A History of God and The Spiral Staircase, comes this extraordinary investigation of a critical moment in the evolution of religious thought.In the ninth century BCE, events in four regions of the civilized world led to the rise of religious traditions that have endured to the present day--the development of Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Armstrong, one of our most prominent religious scholars, examines how these traditions began in response to the violence of their time. Studying figures as diverse as the Buddha and Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah, Armstrong reveals how these still enduring philosophies can help address our contemporary problems.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:05 -0400)
In the ninth century BCE, the peoples of four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day: Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Later generations further developed these initial insights, but we have never grown beyond them. Now, Karen Armstrong reveals how the sages of this pivotal "Axial Age" can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times. The Axial Age faiths began in recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time. There was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion. The traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma--all insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering.
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