Quotes from The Case for God

Karen Armstrong ·  406 pages

Rating: (6.9K votes)


“Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians have insisted for centuries that God does not exist and that there is 'nothing' out there; in making these assertions, their aim was not to deny the reality of God but to safeguard God's transcendence.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“Auschwitz was a dark epiphany, providing us with a terrible vision of what life is like when all sense of the sacred is lost and the human being--whoever he or she may be--is no longer revered as an inviolable mystery.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“In [the] early days, Muslims did not see Islam as a new, exclusive religion but as a continuation of the primordial faith of the ‘People of the Book’, the Jews and Christians. In one remarkable passage, God insists that Muslims must accept indiscriminately the revelations of every single one of God’s messengers: Abraham, Isaac, Ishamel, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and all the other prophets. The Qur’an is simply a ‘confirmation’ of the previous scriptures. Nobody must be forced to accept Islam, because each of the revealed traditions had its own din; it was not God’s will that all human beings should belong to the same faith community. God was not the exclusive property of any one tradition; the divine light could not be confined to a single lamp, belonged neither to the East or to the West, but enlightened all human beings. Muslims must speak courteously to the People of the Book, debate with them only in ‘the most kindly manner’, remember that they worshipped the same God, and not engage in pointless, aggressive disputes.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“لم يكن الطقس "الطقوس الدينية" في العالم قبل الحديث نتاج أفكار دينية بل على النقيض فقد كانت الأفكار نتاج الطقوس”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“Some Western Christians read the story as a factual account of the Original Sin that condemned the human race to everlasting perdition. But this is a peculiarly Western Christian interpretation and was introduced controversially by Saint Augustine of Hippo only in the early fifth century. The Eden story has never been understood in this way in either the Jewish or the Orthodox Christian traditions. However, we all tend to see these ancient tales through the filter of subsequent history and project current beliefs onto texts that originally meant something quite different.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God



“Anybody who imagines that revealed religion requires a craven clinging to a fixed, unalterable, and self-evident truth should read the rabbis. Midrash required them to “investigate” and “go in search” of fresh insight. The rabbis used the old scriptures not to retreat into the past but to propel them into the uncertainties of the post-temple world.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“The Deuteronomists had made violence an option in the Judeo-Christian religion. It would always be possible to make these scriptures endorse intolerant policies.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“If a stranger lives with you in your land, do not molest him. You must treat him like one of your own people and love him as yourselves, for you were strangers in Egypt.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“Once you gave up the nervous craving to promote yourself, denigrate others, draw attention to your unique and special qualities, and ensure that you were first in the pecking order, you experienced an immense peace.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“There is also a widespread assumption that the Bible is supposed to provide us with role models and give us precise moral teaching, but this was not the intention of the biblical authors. The Eden story is certainly not a morality tale; like any paradise myth, it is an imaginary account of the infancy of the human race.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God



“Any interpretation of scripture that bred hatred or disdain for others was illegitimate,”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“لم تكن الطقوس الدينية في العالم قبل الحديث مناج أفكار دينية بل على النقيض فقد كانت الأفكار نتاج الطقوس”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“The French philosopher Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973) distinguished between a problem, “something met which bars my passage” and “is before me in its entirety,” and a mystery, “something in which I find myself caught up, and whose essence is not before me in its entirety.”69”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“He claimed gleefully that he had no opinions at all, because he had no self. A poet, he believed, was ‘the most unpoetical of any thing in existence; because he has no Identity’.75 True poetry had no time for ‘the egotistical sublime’,76 which forced itself on the reader:”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“A disorderly spirituality that makes the practitioner dreamy, eccentric, or uncontrolled is a very bad sign indeed. In”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God



“نفرط في أيامنا هذه، في الحديث عن الله، بيد أن معظم ما نقوله يتسم بالسطحية والتبسيط. نعتقد، في مجتمعنا الديمقراطي، أن مفهوم الرب يجب أن يكون سهلًا، وأن يكون الدين متاحًا للجميع، كثيرًا ما يقول لي القرّاء، على سبيل العتاب، أن كتابي هذا أو ذاك صعب. وأريد أن أجيب "إنه عن الله" لكن الكثيرون يجدون إجابتي محيرة. فمن المؤكد أن الجميع يعرفون من هو الله: الكائن الأعظم الذي خلق العالم وكل شيء فيه. تظهر عليهم الحيرة حين نبين أنه من غير الدقة أن نسمي "الله" الكائن الأعظم لأن الله ليس كائنًا على الإطلاق، وأننا لا نعرف مانعنيه حينما نقول إنه "خيّر" أو "حكيم" أو "ذكي".”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“so Enlightenment philosophers developed a new form of theism, based entirely on reason and Newtonian science, which they called Deism.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


“He insisted that it was impossible to understand a single word of the Book of Nature without knowing the language of mathematics.”
― Karen Armstrong, quote from The Case for God


About the author

Karen Armstrong
Born place: in Wildmoor, Worcestershire, The United Kingdom
Born date November 14, 1944
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