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Title:The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:Anchor
ISBN:0385721242
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:592
Category:Religion, Non fiction, History, Philosophy, Spirituality, Theology

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions 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 Now 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 .

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 Rabbinic Judaism Christianity and Islam for example were all secondary flowerings of the original Israelite vision Now in The Great Transformation 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 .

Armstrong traces the development of the Axial Age chronologically examining the contributions of such figures as the Buddha Socrates Confucius Jeremiah Ezekiel the mystics of the Upanishads Mencius and Euripides All of the Axial Age faiths began in principled and visceral recoil from the unprecedented violence of their time Despite some differences of emphasis there was a remarkable consensus in their call for an abandonment of selfishness and a spirituality of compassion With regard to dealing with fear despair hatred rage and violence the Axial sages gave their people and give us Armstrong says two important pieces of advice first there must be personal responsibility and self criticism and it must be followed by practical effective action .

In her introduction and concluding chapter Armstrong urges us to consider how these spiritualities challenge the way we are religious today In our various institutions we sometimes seem to be attempting to create exactly the kind of religion that Axial sages and prophets had hoped to eliminate We often equate faith with doctrinal conformity but the traditions of the Axial Age were not about dogma All insisted on the primacy of compassion even in the midst of suffering In each Axial Age case a disciplined revulsion from violence and hatred proved to be the major catalyst of spiritual change

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The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Buddha, The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism, Muhammad, A Short History of Myth, The Bible: A Biography (Books That Changed the World), The Case for God, Islam: A Short History, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness
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