Karen Armstrong: "Sometimes, the way monotheists talk about God is unreligious." — PinoyExchange

Karen Armstrong: "Sometimes, the way monotheists talk about God is unreligious."

micketymoc Oversized Member
A very revealing interview from the author of A History of God and several other books on religion. (I've read A History of God and have been addicted to her writing ever since.)

Armstrong's conclusions are not very kind to evangelicals, conservative Catholics, or hardcore atheists. I recognize a lot of RoT discussions in her interview, particularly in the section quoted below:

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You're saying these ancient sages really didn't care about big metaphysical systems. They didn't care about theology.

No, none of them did. And neither did Jesus. Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discoursing about the trinity or original sin or the incarnation, which have preoccupied later Christians. He went around doing good and being compassionate. In the Quran, metaphysical speculation is regarded as self-indulgent guesswork. And it makes people, the Quran says, quarrelsome and stupidly sectarian. You can't prove these things one way or the other, so why quarrel about it? The Taoists said this kind of speculation where people pompously hold forth about their opinions was egotism. And when you're faced with the ineffable and the indescribable, they would say it's belittling to cut it down to size. Sometimes, I think the way monotheists talk about God is unreligious.

Unreligious? Like talk about a personal God?

Yes, people very often talk about him as a kind of acquaintance, whom they can second-guess. People will say God loves that, God wills that, and God despises the other. And very often, the opinions of the deity are made to coincide exactly with those of the speaker.

Yet we certainly see a personal God in various sacred texts. People aren't just making that up.

No, but the great theologians in Judaism, Christianity and Islam say you begin with the idea of a god who is personal. But God transcends personality as God transcends every other human characteristic, such as gender. If we get stuck there, this is very immature. Very often people hear about God at about the same time as they're learning about Santa Claus. And their ideas about Santa Claus mature and change in time, but their idea of God remains infantile.


  • rickym
    rickym Member
    i agree with the idea.
    sometimes its the followers that give god a bad name.
  • Anonymouz
    Anonymouz Banned by Admin
    first define what is 'religious'. and then we can discuss what is 'unreligious'.
  • groundcau
    groundcau I.B. Hamburger
    OK. You first.
  • Anonymouz
    Anonymouz Banned by Admin
    religious means 'faithful devotion'. according to webster,

    ok so how is it NOT faithful devotion to say 'god loves this', 'god loves that', 'god loves you'. does it not take a lot of faithful devotion to mean those things? karen armstrong is very wrong in this, and so is miketymoc. maybe theyve been athiest for so long theyve for gotten what it is like to be religious.

    the bible & koran were both built on some quarrelsome speculations on god. but that does not stop their adherents from being religious. speculations dont contradict faithful devotion.
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