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The Case for God
Author Karen Armstrong
Subject History of religions
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Pages 432
ISBN 978-0-307-26918-8

The Case for God is a 2009 book by Karen Armstrong. It is an answer to the recent atheism of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett and focuses on the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam from the paleolithic age to the present day. Also included are Buddhism and Hinduism.

Among the themes of the book are apophatic theology and intellectualism versus practice. Armstrong claims that the fundamental reality, later called God, Brahman, nirvana or Tao, transcends human concepts and thoughts, and can only be known through devoted religious practice.[1][2][3][4][5]

In 2009, the book was awarded the Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize by the University of Tübingen [6] in recognition of its contribution to the fields of theology, philosophy and intellectual history, and for improving international understanding and tolerance between faiths.


In the Introduction, Armstrong presents two forms of knowledge, mythos and logos.[7] Since the 16th and 17th century, she says logos governed civilization, resulting in two phenomena: fundamentalism and atheism.[8] Armstrong says that the "new" atheists have made some valid criticisms of religion but that they focused on fundamentalism. She says they "aren't radical enough" and finds their work "disappointingly shallow".[9] Her study of religion during the prior twenty years gave her this book and something fresh to [bring to] the table".[10]


  1. ^ "All quiet on the God front". The Guardian. 4 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (16 July 2009). "The Case for God: What Religion Means By Karen Armstrong Reviewed by -". New Statesman. 
  3. ^ "Perpetual Revelations". New York Times. October 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Case for God: What Religion Really Means by Karen Armstrong". The Sunday Times. July 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ Miller, Lisa (September 11, 2009). "Out, Out, Damned Atheists: Karen Armstrong weighs in on God.". Newsweek. 
  6. ^ Armstrong, Karen (2010). Plädoyer für Gott. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 108/. ISBN 978-3-16-150305-4. 
  7. ^ Armstrong, p. xi.
  8. ^ Armstrong, p. xv.
  9. ^ Armstrong, p. xvi.
  10. ^ Armstrong, p. xvii.

External links[edit]

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4 news items

American Spectator

American Spectator
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Unfortunately, he also makes the case for God. The pool-hall exchange, “I've met a lot of priests, and you don't seem the type”/“I've met a lot of cops and you're exactly the type,” is nice and sharp. But then we settle in for a debate: Sarchie lists ...
Patheos (blog)
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:14:29 -0700

for AmSpec. I've now read a couple other horror fans' reviews, and they have the same mix of “There's clearly something interesting here, yet the execution is off somehow–bland, reliant on cliche, SOMETHING's not right.” This even though they pick out ...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

Karen Armstrong's new book, “Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence,” demonstrates the wide range and fearlessness of the popular author whose best-known books are titled “A History of God” and “The Case for God.” Armstrong was born in ...
Patheos (blog)
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:30:47 -0700

Even Leah Libresco, perhaps the most rigorous rationalist I've ever had the pleasure to meet, had to first have her preconceptions about religion and the religious overturned by encounters in college in order to properly hear the case for God. Pope ...

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