The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson


Posted by David Leslie on April 5, 2004

I was flipping channels for background noise and heard part of a talk by Karen Armstrong about her new book, THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE: MY CLIMB OUT OF DARKNESS.
She had some interesting quotes:

“I like to considered myself a freelance mono theist”

“I hate the term ‘teach tolerance’. It as if you have to put up with them. We should try ‘teach compassion and understanding’.”

Here’s a link to the talk:

From Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Karen Armstrong discusses her new memoir, “The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness.” Karen Armstrong became a nun at the age of 17, but left the convent seven years later, in 1969. She went on to write several books on religious subjects, including “A History of God,” “The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism,” “Islam: A Short History,” and “Buddha.” “The Spiral Staircase” tells the story of her personal search for God and for her place in the world in the years after she left the convent.

For a review check out


One Response to “108118501964173789”

  1. Really interesting! Armstrong’s particular theory comes through in her introduction to A Case for God. In my view, she comes very close to reducing religion to ethics, which is something liberal Protestantism has been criticized for doing. Take, for example, “God is love.” I interpret this as teaching that love is the source or basis of existence. Even though our acts of love (and feelings!…which Armstrong also discounts relative to conduct) involve “God is love” being actualized, there is also the sense irrespective of one’s conduct that existence itself is love. I take the transcendent wisdom of the latter to be just as important as conduct in religious terms. I’ve just posted a critique (

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