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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 claims that God does not exist from 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, stating "I can sympathize with the irritation of the new atheists". But maintains that they have focused primarily on fundamentalism. She says they "aren't radical enough" and finds their work "disappointingly shallow".[9] According to Armstrong, "My aim in this book is simply to bring something fresh to the table."[10]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "All quiet on the God front". The Guardian. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  2. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (16 July 2009). "The Case for God: What Religion Means By Karen Armstrong". New Statesman. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Perpetual Revelations". New York Times. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  4. ^ "The Case for God: What Religion Really Means by Karen Armstrong". The Sunday Times. 5 July 2009. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Miller, Lisa (11 September 2009). "Out, Out, Damned Atheists: Karen Armstrong weighs in on God.". Newsweek. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  6. ^ "Lucas-Preis (Lucas-Prize)". Mohr Siebeck. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  7. ^ Armstrong, p. xi.
  8. ^ Armstrong, p. xv.
  9. ^ Armstrong, p. xvi.
  10. ^ Armstrong, p. xvii.

External links[edit]

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New York Times
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:44:12 -0700

This assertion that the supernatural is natural helps to make the case for God in a secular age, because it promises people that they will know by experience that God is real. Perhaps technology plays a role as well. Our world is animated in ways that ...
Columbus Dispatch
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:55:37 -0700

As in most of her earlier books, which include A History of God and The Case for God, Armstrong ranges through most of the world's major religions but concentrates on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religion, she contends, has only recently become an ...
The New Republic
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 04:48:45 -0800

New Republic contributing editor Damon Linker has written a defense of faith in The Week magazine. Linker means to show how atheists misunderstand religion, but he ends up revealing something else: namely, how much ground religion has conceded to ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:17:40 -0700

We're blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas' Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Now we begin to see the payoff from the dry metaphysics of the previous three chapters as Thomas proves that there ...
DFW Catholic
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:03:45 -0700

I have been very impressed with the work of Trent Horn of Catholic Answers. I always enjoy when he is answering calls on Catholic answers and his last book Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity was excellent. So when I ...

Vancouver Sun (blog)

Vancouver Sun (blog)
Sat, 15 Nov 2014 19:17:45 -0800

Beyond fundamentalism: Review of The Case for God · Archbishop Tutu calls for Bush-Blair war crimes trial. A poll this month in Britain found more than half of respondents believe “religion does more harm than good.” The pollster, alas, did not test if ...

The American Conservative

The American Conservative
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:40:26 -0700

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Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:14:42 -0800

There comes a moment at the end of each meeting of the “spiritual” book club that I've been attending this past decade when collectively we pick what to read next. Usually whoever is hosting gets the casting vote, and the best-case scenario is that the ...

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