The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong - Book Report/Review Example

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The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong

The focus in this paper is on the religious fundamentalism as a worldwide phenomenon, and is seen in all the major religions. Jews have fundamentalist sects which rely upon a strict reading of their sacred book, the Torah. Muslims have fundamentalist sects which abhor modernity and see that the merging of church and state is the only proper way to govern society – this is known as governance by Shariah law. Protestant fundamentalists are marked by anti-intellectualism and a lack of rationalism. What all these fundamentalists sects have in common are that they are in opposition to modern thought. Modernity began in the 15th Century with the advent of scientific progress and the elevation of rational thought. It was during this time that man started to realize that they are not the literal center of the universe, and that they are not necessarily special. Meanwhile, modernity breeds a degree of uncertainty. Fundamentalism is a way to buttress the modern world, while providing the true believers with the certainty which they crave. According to Armstrong, Jewish fundamentalism has its genesis in 1492 in Europe. Among the events that occurred that year, in addition to Christopher Columbus sailing from Spain to find a new trade route to India, is that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had to unite kingdoms under their rule. It was therefore important that the different factions which were to unite had a commonality, and this commonality was religion. This was important to them, because the world was modernizing at this time. ...Show more

Summary

The researcher of this essay aims to pay special attention to explanation of the roots and genesis of the fundamentalist movements in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions, which is the subject of Karen Armstrong's book The Battle for God. …
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