Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 978-0-307-40065-9 (0-307-40065-4)
Pub Date: December 28, 2010
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Karen Armstrong explains how to practise the religion of compassion that her last books have preached.
In November 2009 Armstrong and TED launched The Charter of Compassion, which states that "We call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion...to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings — even those regarded as enemies." To date, it's been signed by over 48,000 people on the Web, including such figures as The Dalai Lama and Queen Noor, Dave Eggers and Meg Ryan. (www.charterforcompassion.org) Out of the ideals of that Charter has come this humane, accessible, indispensable short book for our times.
“Karen Armstrong is a genius.”
— A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life
“Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic.”
— The New York Times Book Review
“Armstrong is a masterful writer.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Armstrong has the gift of being able to compress a lot of information into a small space without losing focus or clarity.”
— Edmonton Journal
PREFACE Wish for a Better World
THE FIRST STEP Learn About Compassion
THE SECOND STEP Look at Your Own World
THE THIRD STEP Compassion for Yourself
THE FOURTH STEP Empathy
THE FIFTH STEP Mindfulness
THE SIXTH STEP Action
THE SEVENTH STEP How Little We Know
THE EIGHTH STEP How Should We Speak to One Another?
THE NINTH STEP Concern for Everybody
THE TENTH STEP Knowledge
THE ELEVENTH STEP Recognition
THE TWELFTH STEP Love Your Enemies
A Last Word
Suggestions for Further Reading
KAREN ARMSTRONG, one of the foremost commentators on religious affairs, is the bestselling author of A History of God (1993), The Battle for God (2000), Islam: A Short History (2000), Buddha (2001), The Spiral Staircase (2004), The Great Transformation (2006) and The Case for God (2009), among many other books. Having spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, she left her order in 1969 and took a B.Litt. at Oxford, taught modern literature at the University of London and headed the English department of a public girls' school. She became a freelance writer and broadcaster in 1982, and in 1983 she worked in the Middle East on a six-part documentary television series on the life and works of St. Paul. Her other television work has included Varieties of Religious Experience (1984) and Tongues of Fire (1985); the latter resulted in an anthology by that name on religious and poetic expression. In 1996 she participated in Bill Moyers' television series Genesis. She has taught at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and the Training of Rabbis and Teachers and was awarded the 1999 Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award. She regularly contributes reviews and articles to newspapers and journals.
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