Karen Armstrong Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 Karen Armstrong Quotes

#1. Compassion has dropped so far out of sight these days that many are confused about what is required. It even inspires overt hostility. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#2. My study of religion, which I regard in many ways as an art form, is a search for meaning. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#3. Some people simply bury their heads in the sand and refuse to think about the sorrow of the world, but this is an unwise course, because, if we are entirely unprepared, the tragedy of life can be devastating. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#4. If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#5. Yes, all fundamentalists feel that in a secular society, God has been relegated to the margin, to the periphery and they are all in different ways seeking to drag him out of that peripheral position, back to center stage. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#6. We have to make a disciplined effort to find out what our governments are doing in these various parts of the world and what is actually happening. We have to learn to listen to each other's stories. Something we are not very good at. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#7. My greatest solace is my study. If I am deprived of my study, I can become lost, unhappy and unhinged. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#8. There are some forms of religion that are bad, just as there's bad cooking or bad art or bad sex, you have bad religion too. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#9. After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it. If I saw someone reading a religious book on a train, I'd think, how awful. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#10. I believe in holiness and sacredness in other people. It doesn't mean that the clouds part and I see God. That's a juvenile way of thinking about it. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#11. Compassion is not an option. It's the key to our survival. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#12. We are what we are because of the hard work, insights and achievements of countless others. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#13. Far from being the father of jihad, [Prophet] Mohammad was a peacemaker, who risked his life and nearly lost the loyalty of his closest companions because he was determined to effect a reconciliation with Mecca - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#14. Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#15. For centuries, the Muslims were able to co-exist perfectly well with Jews and Christians in the Middle East. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#16. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself to us as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of all true religiousness. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#17. Unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that can keep abreast of our technological genius, it is unlikely that we will save our planet. A purely rational education will not suffice. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#18. The early doctrines of the church, even doctrines like Trinity and Incarnation were originally also calls for action, calls for selflessness, calls for compassion, and unless you live that out compassionately, selflessly, you didn't understand what the doctrine was saying. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#19. Well, logos is science or reason, something that helps us to function practically and effectively in the world, and it must therefore be closely in tune and reflect accurately the realities of the world around us. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#20. People who have been taught to despise themselves cannot easily respect others. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#21. You are your best self when you give yourself away. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#22. The Quran gave women rights of inheritance and divorce centuries before Western women were accorded such status. The - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#23. even the presidents of Harvard and Yale saw the War of Independence as part of God's design for the overthrow of Catholicism. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#24. Respect only has meaning as respect for those with whom I do not agree. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#25. Jefferson the deist was accused of being an atheist and even a Muslim. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#26. You have to get into the water and learn against what seems to be the law gravity to float and dancing, or athletics takes you years before you develop a skill. But if you work at it, practicing daily, you can enable your body to do things that are utterly impossible to an untrained physic. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#27. Mythology was never designed to describe historically verifiable events that actually happened. It was an attempt to express their inner significance or to draw attention to realities that were too elusive to be discussed in a logically coherent way. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#28. Compassion is not feeling sorry for others. It's not soft. It requires an intellectual effort. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#29. And how could I hope to sense God's presence when I continually broke the silence, frequently had uncharitable thoughts, and above all, constantly yearned for human affection and wept when reprimanded? - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#30. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they probably did not fall into a state of original sin, as Saint Augustine believed, but into an agrarian economy. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#31. I am continually trying to find meaning in the world. If we cannot find some ultimate significance or value in our lives, we fall very easily into despair. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#32. I no longer think that any principle or opinion is worth anything if it makes you unkind or intolerant. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#33. Well, the idea of God as a supreme being means that he is simply like us, writ large, and just bigger and better, the end product of the series; whereas this divine personality that we meet in the Bible was, for centuries, regarded simply as a symbol of a greater transcendence that lay beyond it. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#34. Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the west at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#35. The great genius of the Shiah was its tragic perception that it is impossible fully to implement the ideals of religion in the inescapably violent realm of politics. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#36. Some Palaeolithic heroes survived in later mythical literature. The Greek hero Herakles, for example, is almost certainly a relic of the hunting period. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#37. If we don't manage to implement the Golden Rule globally, so that we treat all peoples, wherever and whoever they may be, as though they were as important as ourselves, I doubt that we'll have a viable world to hand on to the next generation. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#38. Skeletal remains show that plant-fed humans were a head shorter than meat-eating hunters, prone to anemia, infectious diseases, rotten teeth, and bone disorders. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#39. Compassion doesn't, of course, mean feeling sorry for people, or pity, which is how the word has become emasculated in a way. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#40. if we harm our neighbors, we also inflict damage on ourselves. There - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#41. In the holy city of Mecca, violence of any kind was forbidden. From the moment they left home, pilgrims were not permitted to carry weapons, to swat an insect or speak an angry word, a discipline that introduced them to a new way of living. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#42. Krishna explains. When enemies become too numerous and powerful, they should be slain by deceit and stratagems. This was the path formerly trodden by the devas to slay the asuras; and a path trodden by the virtuous may be trodden by all. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#43. The great task of our time is to build a global society, where people can live together in peace - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#44. all who benefit from the inherent violence of the state are implicated in its cruelty. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#45. When violence becomes imbedded in a region, then this affects everything. It affects your dreams, your fantasies and relationships, and your religion becomes violent, too. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#46. At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#47. Any interpretation of scripture that bred hatred or disdain for others was illegitimate, - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#48. Religious ideas and practices take root not because they are promoted by forceful theologians, nor because they can be shown to have a sound historical or rational basis, but because they are found in practice to give the faithful a sense of sacred transcendence. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#49. We are trying to retrain our responses and form mental habits that are kinder, gentler, and less fearful of others. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#50. Let's use our stories to encourage listening to one another and to hear not just the good news, but also the pain that lies at the back of a lot of people's stories and histories. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#51. As the philosopher Walter Benjamin put it: "There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism."24 - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#52. I remind myself that my pain is not unique. Everybody suffers. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#53. Compassion is not a popular virtue. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#54. People would continue to adopt a particular conception of the divine because it worked for them, not because it was scientifically or philosophically sound. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#55. Religion is not a nice thing. It is potentially a very dangerous thing because it involves a heady complex of emotions, desires, yearnings and fears. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#56. If your child dies, or you witness a terrible natural disaster, yes, you certainly want a scientific explanation as to what's happened. But science can't help you to find meaning, help you deal with that turbulence of your grief, rage, and dismay. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#57. At their best, all religious, philosophical, and ethical traditions are based on the principle of compassion. I - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#58. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the highest point of Jesus's life was the moment when he forgave his executioners, - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#59. What is lawful, what is unlawful?" asked Ku Yuan, prince and poet of Chu. "This country is a slough of despond! Nothing is pure any longer! Informers are exalted! And wise men of gentle birth are without renown!"3 - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#60. Every single one of the major traditions - Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as the monotheisms - teaches a spirituality of empathy, by means of which you relate your own suffering to that of others. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#61. What mattered was not what you believed but how you behaved. Religion was about doing things that changed you at a profound level. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#62. There is no ascent to the heights without prior descent into darkness, no new life without some form of death. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#63. By increasing the amount of Torah (obligatory religious laws) in the world, they were extending His presence in the world and making it more effective. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#64. Understanding different national, cultural, and religious traditions is no longer a luxury; it is now a necessity and must become a priority. The - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#65. Here in America, religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. They've lost the Axial Age vision of concern for everybody. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#66. Often when religious leaders come together, they talk about a particular sexual ethic, or an abstruse doctrine, as though this, rather than compassion, was the test of spiritual life. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#67. It's quite common for a Sufi mystic to cry in ecstasy that he's neither a Jew, a Christian, nor a Muslim. He is at home equally in a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, or a church because when one's glimpsed the divine, one's left these man-made distinctions behind. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#68. Compassion is the key in Islam and Buddhism and Judaism and Christianity. They are profoundly similar. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#69. The Deuteronomists had made violence an option in the Judeo-Christian religion. It would always be possible to make these scriptures endorse intolerant policies. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#70. We have a duty to get to know one another, and to cultivate a concern and responsibility for all our neighbors in the global village. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#71. Religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Often, they don't want to give up their egotism. They want their religion to endorse their ego, their identity. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#72. In order to always treat others, as we would wish to be treated ourselves, we have to learn about each other. Not just relying on an op-ed piece we may have read here, or a half-remembered interview on the television program there that happens to chime with our own views. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#73. I have a very sharp tongue, I'm very impatient, and it's a lifelong struggle. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#74. All religions are designed to teach us how to live, joyfully, serenely, and kindly, in the midst of suffering. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#75. There was a growing conviction that religion had to become as rational as modern science. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#76. Let us bring something new to the table. Let us use our pain always to remember the others, bring them into the conversation, and get beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that create injustice all over the world. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#77. Religion is a search for transcendence. But transcendence isn't necessarily sited in an external god, which can be a very unspiritual, unreligious concept. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#78. Religion isn't about believing things. It's ethical alchemy. It's about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#79. A theology should be like poetry, which takes us to the end of what words and thoughts can do. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#80. Surely it's better to love others, however messy and imperfect the involvement, than to allow one's capacity for love to harden. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#81. It is always tempting to try to shut out the suffering that is an inescapable part of the human condition, but once it has broken through the cautionary barricades we have erected against it, we can never see the world in the same way again. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#82. There is nothing in Islam that is more violent than Christianity. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#83. When you feel compassion, you dethrone yourself from the centre of the world. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#84. 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. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#85. Each generation has to create the image of God that works for it. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#86. Storytelling is fine as long as you can encourage people to act on the stories. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#87. Mythology was not about theology, in the modern sense, but about human experience. People thought that gods, humans, animals and nature were inextricably bound up together, subject to the same laws, and composed of the same divine substance. There - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#88. I tremble for our world, where, in the smallest of ways, we find it impossible ... to find room for the other in our minds. If we cannot accommodate a viewpoint in a friend without resorting to unkindness, how can we hope to heal the terrible problems of our planet? - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#89. Then, as now, there would always be people who preferred the option of devoting their religious energies to sacred space over the more difficult duty of compassion. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#90. included: no religious doctrine or practice can be authentic if it does not lead to practical compassion. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#91. The first person to promulgate the Golden Rule, which was the bedrock of this empathic spirituality, was Confucius 500 years before Christ. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#92. There is a danger in monotheism, and it's called idolatry. And we know the prophets of Israel were very, very concerned about idolatry, the worship of a human expression of the divine. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#93. A double standard, albeit unintended, violates our integrity and damages our credibility. In a global society, conflict is rarely the fault of only one party. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#94. Religion is a practical discipline and in the 17th century in the West, we turned it onto a head trip. But it's like dancing, or swimming, or driving, which you can't learn by texts. You have to get into the car and learn how to manipulate the vehicle. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#95. Christmas Day 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne "Holy Roman Emperor" in the Basilica of St. Peter. The congregation acclaimed him as "Augustus," and Leo prostrated himself at Charlemagne's feet. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#96. Muhammad preached his farewell sermon to the Muslim community. He reminded them to deal justly with one another, to treat women kindly, and to abandon the blood feuds and vendettas inspired by the spirit of jahiliyyah. Muslim must never fight against Muslim. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#97. We constantly have ideas and experiences that go beyond what we can say or know. Most often these are expressed in art, in painting, in music. Music, everyday confronts us with a form of knowing that doesn't depend on words. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#98. Religion is hard work. Its insights are not self-evident and have to be cultivated in the same way as an appreciation of art, music, or poetry must be developed. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#99. The Taliban travesty, a noxious combination of Deobandi rigidity, tribal chauvinism, and the aggression of the traumatized war orphan. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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#100. Today mythical thinking has fallen into disrepute; we often dismiss it as irrational and self-indulgent. But the imagination is also the faculty that has enabled scientists to bring new knowledge to light and to invent technology that has made us immeasurably more effective. - Author: Karen Armstrong
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