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    9781524750787 CD-Audio, $66 CAD 9781524750794 Downloadable audio file, $29.5 CAD 9780345812346 Hardback, $39.95 CAD 9780345812360 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB
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The Lost Art of Scripture
Rescuing the Sacred Texts
By (author): Karen Armstrong
9780345812353 Paperback, Trade English General Trade RELIGION / Comparative Religion Oct 20, 2020
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.17 x 7.99 x 0.99 in | 0.94 lb 624 pages Knopf Random Vintage Canada Vintage Canada
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

From one of the most trusted and admired writers on the world of faith, a timely and important examination of the meaning of scripture


The significance of scripture may not be immediately obvious in our secular world, but its misunderstanding is perhaps the root cause of many of today’s controversies. The sacred texts have been co-opted by fundamentalists, who insist that they must be taken literally, and by others who interpret scripture to bolster their own prejudices. These texts are seen to prescribe ethical norms and codes of behavior that are divinely ordained: they are believed to contain eternal truths. But as Karen Armstrong shows in this chronicle of the development and significance of major religions, such a narrow, peculiar reading of scripture is a relatively recent, modern phenomenon. For most of their history, the world’s religious traditions have regarded these texts as tools that enable the individual to connect with the divine, to experience a different level of consciousness, and to help them engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways.

At a time of intolerance and mutual incomprehension, The Lost Art of Scripture shines fresh light on the world’s major religions to help us build bridges between faiths and rediscover a creative and spiritual engagement with holy texts.

Story Locale: Global

SOLID RECORD: Karen Armstrong represents the gold standard for writing in her field and her books consistently sell. She is beloved by Canadian booksellers and media, she gave the keynote address at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto.

GLOBAL SCOPE: A cogent and fluently organized grand tour of world religions. A one-stop-shop for readers interested in the vast and often intriguing human story of textual religious traditions.

URGENT MESSAGE: Armstrong argues that scripture, across all cultures, emphasizes the necessity of man taking responsibility for the planet and having faith in the divine potential of all human beings—a compelling message in our age of ecological and political catastrophe.

TIMING: This book comes to us during a time of social and political polarizaton. Instead of adding to the din, Armstrong’s argument will stand out for its measured approach and uncommon message.

KAREN ARMSTRONG is one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs. She spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, but left her teaching order in 1969 to read English at St Anne’s College, Oxford. In 1982, she became a full time writer and broadcaster. She is a bestselling author of over 16 books on religious affairs, including A History of God, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, The Case for God, and The Great Transformation, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into 45 languages. A passionate campaigner for religious liberty, Armstrong has addressed members of the United States Congress and the Senate and has participated in the World Economic Forum.

Author Residence: London, UK

Author Hometown: Wildmoor, Worcestershire

Feature Website: facebook.com/KarenArmstrongAuthor/

Author Social Media: Twitter: @KarenAnchorite

“Magisterial…. Armstrong has won respect for her scholarly and thoughtful treatment of faith in books such as A History of God, The Case for God, and Fields of Blood. Her latest work builds on these, partly by exploring common threads across different religious traditions, and it’s an encyclopedic undertaking…. Armstrong has written a highly rational tribute to the murky wingman of our lives that exists beyond what is material and rational…. I found the broad arguments at the beginning and end of this book to be fascinating and persuasive…. A dazzling accomplishment, a reflection of an encyclopedic knowledge of comparative religion and of a wisdom about spirituality in the human species.” —Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“Unusual, often dazzling, blend of theology, history, and neuroscience.” —The New Yorker

“[Armstrong’s] most profound, important book to date…Both nonbelievers and believers will find her diagnosis—that most people now read scripture to confirm their own views, rather than to achieve transformation—on the mark…. This is an instant classic of accessible and relevant religious history.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A triumph…Karen Armstrong is one of our great commentators on the sacred. In this book she explores the sacred texts with a scholar’s eye and an illuminating clarity suggesting how much their wisdom and lasting power are still needed today.” —Salley Vickers, author of The Enchanted April

“Karen Armstrong has written an amazingly wide-ranging book, showing that the world’s religious texts can be a force for good today, rather than a cause of conflict. The scale of her knowledge never ceases to astonish.” —John Barton, author of A History of the Bible

The Lost Art of Scripture…exhibits [Armstrong’s] well-known and admired characteristics as a writer: an ability to be both authoritative on all the major faiths…a reasoned insistence that religion today is misunderstood, as much by the religious as by their critics; and a passionate appeal to our fractious and fractured world to embrace religion’s core message [of]…compassion and respect for others.” —The Sunday Times

“[The Lost Art of Scripture] takes us on a glorious journey Armstrong is the most articulate and generous-hearted exegete of religion writing in English at the present time.” —New Statesman

“Rich and wide-ranging…a fascinating read…a treasure chest of social and religious history. Armstrong’s lucid prose makes her many-stranded story remarkably straightforward to follow…. A learned and stimulating book.” —Tablet

“Formidable…serious and inspiring…exhilarating, challenging and curiously comforting…Written not only with intellectual rigor and an accessible turn of phrase, but also with love.” —Prospect Magazine

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