The Lost Art of Scripture Kindle ñ Art of MOBI

The Lost Art of Scripture In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant, and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture, is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war and terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception The holy texts at the centre of all religious traditions are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views They are believed to be divinely ordained they are claimed to contain eternal truthsBut as Karen Armstrong, a world authority on religious affairs, shows in this fascinating journey through millennia of history, this narrow reading of scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon For hundreds of years these texts were instead viewed as spiritual tools scripture was a means for the individual to connect with the divine, to transcend their physical existence, and to experience a higher level of consciousness Holy texts were seen as fluid and adaptable, rather than a set of binding archaic rules or a truth that has to be believedArmstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement with their holy texts will the world s religions be able to curtail arrogance, intolerance and violence And if scripture is used to engage with the world in meaningful and compassionate ways, we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us ❰Epub❯ ➝ Longbow Girl Author Linda Davies – Kleankitchen.co.uk holy texts are at best seen as irrelevant [Epub] ❦ On His Naughty List By Jessica Jarman – Kleankitchen.co.uk and at worst as an excuse to incite violence ❰Read❯ ➵ Fire Colour One Author Jenny Valentine – Kleankitchen.co.uk hatred and division So what value ❮Reading❯ ➾ Invisible Wounds Author Kay Douglas – Kleankitchen.co.uk if any ❂ [EPUB] ✺ A City Possessed By Lynley Hood ➛ – Kleankitchen.co.uk can scripture hold for us today And if our world no longer seems compatible with scripture ❮PDF❯ ✪ Her Husbands Mistake ✑ Author Sheila O& – Kleankitchen.co.uk is it perhaps because its original purpose has become lost Today we see the Quran being used by some to justify war and terrorism ❮Ebook❯ ➨ Mr Dove Über Den Wassern ➩ Author Maurice Shadbolt – Kleankitchen.co.uk the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel [Reading] ➮ Squirmy Wormy ➶ Lynda Farrington Wilson – Kleankitchen.co.uk and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception The holy texts at the centre of all religious traditions are often employed selectively to underwrite arbitrary and subjective views They are believed to be divinely ordained they are claimed to contain eternal truthsBut as Karen Armstrong ➶ [Reading] ➸ Honeymoon By Sacha J. Witt ➫ – Kleankitchen.co.uk a world authority on religious affairs ✴ [BOOKS] ⚡ Puck You By Peyton Novak ✾ – Kleankitchen.co.uk shows in this fascinating journey through millennia of history ❰Reading❯ ➼ Mountain Moonlight Author Jane Anderson – Kleankitchen.co.uk this narrow reading of scripture is a relatively recent phenomenon For hundreds of years these texts were instead viewed as spiritual tools scripture was a means for the individual to connect with the divine [Reading] ➷ Evvie Drake Starts Over Author Linda Holmes – Kleankitchen.co.uk to transcend their physical existence ➽ [Download] ✤ Confessio Fraternitatis By Johann Valentin Andreae ➲ – Kleankitchen.co.uk and to experience a higher level of consciousness Holy texts were seen as fluid and adaptable [Read] ➱ How to Save a Life By unholy.obsession – Kleankitchen.co.uk rather than a set of binding archaic rules or a truth that has to be believedArmstrong argues that only by rediscovering an open engagement with their holy texts will the world s religions be able to curtail arrogance [Epub] ➝ Mate Me [If You May] (The Millennium Wolves, By Sapir Englard – Kleankitchen.co.uk intolerance and violence And if scripture is used to engage with the world in meaningful and compassionate ways [Read] ➮ Little Creatures Author Stephen Quayle – Kleankitchen.co.uk we will find that it still has a great deal to teach us


10 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Scripture

  1. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    In many ways, we seem to be losing the art of scripture in the modern world Instead of reading it to achieve transformation, we use it to confirm our own views ether that our religion is right and that of our enemies wrong, or, in the case of sceptics, that religion is unworthy of serious consideration Too many believers and non believers alike now read these sacred texts in a doggedly literal manner that is quite different from theinventive and mystical approach of premodern spiritua In many ways, we seem to be losing the art of scripture in the modern world Instead of reading it to achieve transformation, we use it to confirm our own views ether that our religion is right and that of our enemies wrong, or, in the case of sceptics, that religion is unworthy of serious consideration Too many believers and non believers alike now read these sacred texts in a doggedly literal manner that is quite different from theinventive and mystical approach of premodern spirituality You could skip to the epilogue and just read its 30 pages instead of wading through the 400 pages that precede it All of Armstrong s recent books make much the same points and use many of the same examples Her frame of reference here includes Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Chinese religion chiefly Confucianism


  2. Rama Rama says:

    This is a mishmashThe New Testament and Quran were routinely revised since ancient times and their message dramatically reinterpreted to meet the needs of the ever present The art of scripture erased the past because the sacred text is known to be the Word of God, and it had to conform to the moral rules set in ancient times Hence, Muslims are practicing the moral and social norms of ninth century Arabian Desert, and the Quran and Hadith are used to justify acts of Jihad terrorism as a religio This is a mishmashThe New Testament and Quran were routinely revised since ancient times and their message dramatically reinterpreted to meet the needs of the ever present The art of scripture erased the past because the sacred text is known to be the Word of God, and it had to conform to the moral rules set in ancient times Hence, Muslims are practicing the moral and social norms of ninth century Arabian Desert, and the Quran and Hadith are used to justify acts of Jihad terrorism as a religious duty Muslim women deeply believe that God wants them to cover their head, and Christians use the Gospel of John 3 16 to recklessly convert others into the Christian faith Force, coercion, savagery, and war was used to enforce Christian beliefs The take home message from this book is mixed the author dwells on the role of myth, how it evolved, and why religions need it She takes us back to very ancient times, about 40,000 years ago Long before established religions came into existence to reconstruct the human faith systems The author is known for her work on Abrahamic faiths, Old and New Testaments, and Islam Her analysis of Hinduism covered mainly in one chapter namely Chapter 2, falls too short for a good comparisons with religions of The Middle East The author lacks a comprehensive competence in the vast field of Hinduism The religious literature includes Vedas, Upanishads, the Epics, the Puranas, Bhagavad Gita and the six Hindu philosophical systems that articulate this most ancient faith system The earliest hymns of Rigveda are dated back to 1700 BCE The author s work focuses on commonalities of religions and employs the need for compassion and often invoke political correctness She is known to be overtly sympathetic to Muslims since they make the most demand from the Western societies to conform to Muslim sentiments and Islamic values


  3. Kathy Kathy says:

    This is a remarkable telling of the history of man s desire to commune with his creator, how it has been attempted or accomplished from early man to present day with the thread of left right brain activity This book is filled with historical information from the world s varied cultures and faiths.Whether you are a scholar of any of the world s sacred texts or familiar with the history of worship in all its forms in varying cultures, this book has applications for today.Highly recommend to anyon This is a remarkable telling of the history of man s desire to commune with his creator, how it has been attempted or accomplished from early man to present day with the thread of left right brain activity This book is filled with historical information from the world s varied cultures and faiths.Whether you are a scholar of any of the world s sacred texts or familiar with the history of worship in all its forms in varying cultures, this book has applications for today.Highly recommend to anyone interested in the study of worship through the ages.Library Loan


  4. Tom Helmick Tom Helmick says:

    Karen Armstrong is a profound thinker, writer, and historian I felt like I understood about half of what she wrote, but that half was really worth the long read My sense of her thesis is that to rescue the sacred texts we need to read them aloud and repeatedly, bringing them to bear on our present day histories This farof a right brain transformative experience than a left brain academic one.


  5. Michael Austin Michael Austin says:

    Perhaps the most conspicuous thing about Karen Armstrong s new book The Lost Art of Scripture is that it is about twice as long as it needs to be This is not really surprising Most books are twice as long as they need to be But this one is really, really twice as long as it needs to be If an editor had required her to cut 50% of it before publication, it would have been a much stronger book.And this does not mean that it is a weak book It is not It has a strong and compelling thesis and a Perhaps the most conspicuous thing about Karen Armstrong s new book The Lost Art of Scripture is that it is about twice as long as it needs to be This is not really surprising Most books are twice as long as they need to be But this one is really, really twice as long as it needs to be If an editor had required her to cut 50% of it before publication, it would have been a much stronger book.And this does not mean that it is a weak book It is not It has a strong and compelling thesis and a lot of relevant support for the thesis, but it has a lot if irrelevant support for the thesis too, and that is why it is twice as long as it needs to be.Armstrong s primary argument, if I understand it correctly, is that scripture is, like poetry, drama, or teen paranormal romance, a specific art form I would be tempted to say genre with expectations, conventions, and assumptions Among the most important of these assumptions are 1 scriptures are a way to approach a true and ultimate reality 2 scriptures are designed to help people connect with said TaUR within specific historical and cultural contexts and 3 scriptures are normally part of a whole package that includes myths and rituals and liturgies and other stuff that helps people connect with the divine and, perhaps most importantly, scriptures are never done, and canons are never closed, because, while the true and ultimate reality never changes, historical and cultural realities are constantly shifting, so the way to contact the one to the other must change to Scriptures, in other words, must always be updated and made relevant to new contexts Canons are always evolving We should never close the book and say noBut, she suggests, most Western religions have done just that They have locked in a certain culture s ways of connecting to true and ultimate reality Iron age Levantine culture, say, or Early Roman Empire or Arabian Peninsuala tribal culture Because this is the context of the books we consider sacred, we have locked in something that should be fluid and created unchanging idols where there should be works in progress I am quite sympathetic to this argument and would like to have seen it made and supportedas an argument But that is not quite what Armstrong does Rather, she spends most of the book looking at the development of religion in the Ancient Near East, the Indus Valley, and the Chinese Empire A lot of this information is fascinating, and, by the end of the book the reader will have a good idea of how each major region produced a line of religions with sacred texts In China, Confucianism lead to Mohism, Taoism, Legalism, and Neo Confucianism, each with its own sets of sacred texts In India it was Vedic Hinduism, Upanishadic Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism And in Mesopotamia it was Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, each of which went through classical, mystical, and Enlightenment phases.The problem is that this is either way too much for a book making an argument about the genre conventions of the scriptures, and not nearly enough for a comprehensive survey of all of the world s major religions And instead of focusing on the former, she often wanders off into general descriptions of the religions themselves that are too fragmented, and too cursory, to do justice to any of them The result, I think, is a book that spends too little time doing what it should be doing and way too much time doing other things that it doesn t do very well.All of that said, though, I do agree with Armstrong s thesis about the art of scripture and how we lost it And I find enugh support for this assertion in the book to make it a valuable way to think about sacred texts


  6. Paul Ataua Paul Ataua says:

    I arrived here after watching Karen Armstrong talking about scripture on TV, on how its modern , narrow, and often misguided interpretation needs to be understood and redressed Certainly, the first few pages set up this argument, but then the text seems to veer off on a tangent leaving that very argument behind and losing its grip on a clear and solid interpretation There is some talk or neuroscience, but this comes down to the difference between the left and right brain hemispheres, which har I arrived here after watching Karen Armstrong talking about scripture on TV, on how its modern , narrow, and often misguided interpretation needs to be understood and redressed Certainly, the first few pages set up this argument, but then the text seems to veer off on a tangent leaving that very argument behind and losing its grip on a clear and solid interpretation There is some talk or neuroscience, but this comes down to the difference between the left and right brain hemispheres, which hardly clears anything up It is a pity because I think there is a real discussion to be had, and having watched her talk, I believe she has a lot to say, but, unfortunately this book doesn t really work for me


  7. Chris Jaffe Chris Jaffe says:

    A lot of knowledge of the material here, but I felt like Armstrong bit offthan she could chew You get an overview of theology and scripture from China, India, and the West going back 4,000 years The start of the book introduces the book s main point how we ve come to a point where we don t do a good job reading scripture We go to scripture to confirm what we already think, not to learn from it But that point gets lost in the mass of info The last chapter takes the idea head on, but i A lot of knowledge of the material here, but I felt like Armstrong bit offthan she could chew You get an overview of theology and scripture from China, India, and the West going back 4,000 years The start of the book introduces the book s main point how we ve come to a point where we don t do a good job reading scripture We go to scripture to confirm what we already think, not to learn from it But that point gets lost in the mass of info The last chapter takes the idea head on, but it barely mentions China or India in doing so It s two books in one a history of religion, and an intepretation of modern theology but the two parts never quite come together


  8. Dorothy Dorothy says:

    Karen Armstrong, for those unfamiliar with her work, is a former nun and British writer who has written extensively on religion and religious themes I ve read and learned a lot from a few of her many books, including A History of God, to which this current book seems almost a sequel Armstrong, who is 75, is now an ambassador for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations The Lost Art of Scripture could almost serve as a textbook for a course in comparative religions In it, Armstong takes u Karen Armstrong, for those unfamiliar with her work, is a former nun and British writer who has written extensively on religion and religious themes I ve read and learned a lot from a few of her many books, including A History of God, to which this current book seems almost a sequel Armstrong, who is 75, is now an ambassador for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations The Lost Art of Scripture could almost serve as a textbook for a course in comparative religions In it, Armstong takes us on a tour of the scriptural foundations of most of the major religious thought of humans It is a fascinating and lengthythan 600 pages journey.We visit India for the origin of the Vedas And we revisit to pick up on variations of Hindu texts and the evolution of Jainist thought and of the beginnings of Sikhism It is a rich and wide ranging history that could fill and has filled many books by itself.Then we see the beginnings of Buddhism The Buddha never wrote a text and so it was left to others to gather and record his philosophy as expounded in his teachings to disciples China was the origin of much philosophy that could be termed religious, although the Confucian and Taoist texts that are most familiar to us are not about a God in the Western sense instead, they are guides about how to live a good and compassionate life They emphasize the idea that we are to revere all life and to treat others as we would ourselves wish to be treated.And here, Armstrong does not stop with what we might normally think of as religious texts or scripture She includes the Greek philosophers and the ancient plays which also are instructions about living moral lives She makes the argument throughout that God, or if you prefer right thought and righteous living, is revealed in poetry, music, love, sex, as well as religion It is revealed perhaps most clearly in Nature itself A major portion of her book deals with the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and their scriptures She traces the development of the Hebrew Bible and makes the point that scripture was not meant to be read with eyes passing swiftly over a written page Instead, it was to be read or recited out loud, often with rituals that included music and body movements In this way, the words would be imprinted upon one s heart and mind and remembered The beginnings of Christian scripture can fairly be traced to St Paul and his various letters to Christian communities, although scholars believe that some of the writings attributed to him were actually written by others, including some of the most misogynist passages that continue to be used by conservatives to justify the subjugation of women The contradictions in the accounts in the earliest Christian texts regarding the life of Jesus are many A comparison of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, is revelatory For example, the oldest of the Gospels, Mark, does not mention the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection, curious omissions to say the least But, of course, such contradictions are replete throughout the scriptures, including various versions of the Ten Commandments that are found in the Hebrew texts Armstrong makes the case throughout that scripture is not to be taken literally The reader should adopt theinventive and mystical approach of premodern spirituality It is wrong to try to fit it into the confines of scientific discovery or historical facts Religion and scripture should be approached as an art form, an invention of the human mind, just like music or painting or poetry As such, understanding of it evolves over time The understanding of Islam and its scripture, the Quran, have evolved over time The origins of Islam emphasize compassion and justice and its bedrock gospel is that it is wrong to build a private fortune for one s own benefit one should share one s wealth to create a society in which the poor and vulnerable are treated with respect This is still the faith espoused by millions around the world, but, unfortunately, a few militant passages from the Quran, written at a time when the new faith was under attack and surrounded by enemies, are taken out of context by Muslim extremists as well as by Christian fundamentalists who despise them in order to transform Islam which at its root means submission to God into an excuse for violence and hatred.Christianity has seen a similar evolution through the Protestant Reformation, right down to the premillennialists of today who look forward to the Rapture and being able to sit on a cloud and look down to gloat at the suffering of those left behind It all, perhaps, harkens back to the beginnings of the Hebrew Bible which has their God repeatedly ordering genocides or, as in the Noah story, committing genocides One would do well to once again recall Armstrong s reminder that the scriptures are an art form that expresses the complexity of the human dilemma and are not to be taken literally I have barely scratched the surface of the material that Armstrong covers in her book, including many references to poetry and secular literature which might be taken as adjuncts to sacred scripture It is an admirable compendium of religious thought through the ages The narrative slowed to a crawl at times as she emphasized or sought to explain a point and I admit my eyes glazed over at times, but, on the whole, it is a very readable account for a skeptical layperson such as myself


  9. Tom Tom says:

    Karen Armstong is recognized as one of the most respected religious scholars alive today She has a remarkable range of knowledge about the history of various religions including China, India, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.She argues in this book that scripture, in its origins, was wedded to ritual and to art and its intent was to bring about kenosis the emptying of the self It was chanted, sung and acted out long before it was written down and was intended to bring about an experience of Karen Armstong is recognized as one of the most respected religious scholars alive today She has a remarkable range of knowledge about the history of various religions including China, India, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.She argues in this book that scripture, in its origins, was wedded to ritual and to art and its intent was to bring about kenosis the emptying of the self It was chanted, sung and acted out long before it was written down and was intended to bring about an experience of the divine within In all of the faith traditions she enumerates, one of the consequences of the encounter with divinity was empathy and concern for others In agrarian societies, however, only a minority of people had the luxury and time to pursue this inner experience and there developed a priestly elite Over time, as well, the words were written down though still unavailable to the uninitiated Society moved from a period of mythos, when the important truths were understood to be timeless, to logos where the power was invested in words She describes this as the difference between the right brain mythos and the left brain logos In Greece, theater was a form of worship and communal spiritual exploration I was particularly struck by the Prayer to Zeus p150 We must suffer, suffer into truth, We cannot sleep, and drop by drop at the heart The pain of pain remembered comes again, And we resist, but ripeness comes as well, From the gods enthroned on the awesome rowing bench There comes a violent love.As societies entered the modern period the characteristics of the left brain took precedence over those of the right brain and scripture came to be taken literally, leading to an unhealthy emphasis on literalism followed by scepticism Instead of interpreting scripture in the current context, it was taken to be literally true and the ability to use it to achieve kenosis was lost Though she doesn t mention him, Julian Jaynes work on the origin of consciousness fits in well here By forcing the sacred into a wholly rational mode of thought that was alien to it and by reading their scriptures as factual, Europeans had made religion unviable p403 She sees this as a grave error Throughout this book we have seen that scripture is incarnational It must enter the mind and body of the prophet or sage who receives and recites it, as well as the interpreter who explores its meaning The Word must somehow be made flesh p442 Scripture always drew on the past to give meaning to the present Its message was never cast in stone p457 and Unlike science, scripture always had a moral dimension and was essentially a summons to compassionate, altruistic action and that it issue positive, practical action p457 Armstrong describes these trends taking place in all of the major religions and provides copious historical detail to support her argument She also gives illustrations of how art sometimes continues to re interpret scripture in modern context, just as scripture originally did The examples she uses here are mostly literary such as Thomas Mann s tetralogy on Joseph


  10. Rhys Rhys says:

    It is always a pleasure to read Karen Armstrong her clear prose and balance between scholarship and general interest I was particularly appreciative of how she used Iain McGilchrist s thesis to structure this work from The Master and His Emissary on neuroscience and the roles of the linear and literal left brain and the holistic right brain There is no specific God spot in the human brain that yields a sense of the sacred But in recent decades, neurologists have discovered that the righ It is always a pleasure to read Karen Armstrong her clear prose and balance between scholarship and general interest I was particularly appreciative of how she used Iain McGilchrist s thesis to structure this work from The Master and His Emissary on neuroscience and the roles of the linear and literal left brain and the holistic right brain There is no specific God spot in the human brain that yields a sense of the sacred But in recent decades, neurologists have discovered that the right hemisphere of the brain is essential to the creation of poetry, music and religion It is involved with the formation of our sense of self and has a broader, less focused mode of attention than the left hemisphere which ispragmatic and selective Above all, it sees itself as connected to the outside world, whereas the left hemisphere holds aloof from it Specialising in language, analysis and problem solving, the left side of our brain suppresses information that it cannot grasp conceptually The right hemisphere, however, whose functions tended in the past to be overlooked by scientists, has a holistic rather than an analytical vision it sees each thing in relation to the whole and perceives the interconnectedness of reality It is, therefore, at home with metaphor, in which disparate entities become one while the left hemisphere tends to be literal and to wrest things from their context so that it can categorise and make use of them News reaches the right hemisphere first, where it appears as part of an interlocking unity it then passes to the left hemisphere, where it is defined, analysed and its use assessed But the left can produce only a reductive version of complex reality, and once processed, this information is passed back to the right hemisphere, where we see it insofar as we can in the context of the whole p.2


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