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Karen Armstrong in Conversation with Alan Jones by Alan Jones

Karen Armstrong in Conversation with Alan Jones

by Alan Jones

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Running Time
33 Min.
User Rating
  5.0  Stars Based on 2 ratings
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Watch this discussion between author Karen Armstrong and Rev. Alan Jones, the Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. They discuss Armstrong's latest book The Bible: A Biography and Armstrong provides her interpretation of The Good Book. They discuss biblical criticism, biblical literalism, and the Golden Rule. They also confront the New Atheists who have recently attacked the Abrahamic religions.

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An Appropriate Voice For Our Time: Karen Armstrong
Reviewer larryfike
 January 27, 2009
The meaning of the word, "belief" underwent a fundamental change at a time proximate to the high rise of science, says Karen Armstrong, and she's right. While historically the concept to which the word "belief" had been attached pertained to one's deep-rooted sensibilities and best-informed passions, today the word is used in the same sense in which school children are taught to memorize arithmetical facts and formulas. Although Karen Armstrong does not say this explicitly in her talk with Fr. Alan Jones, the gist of this portion of her talk is that while one memorizes the pledge of allegiance at age 5, typically, the significance of that pledge resonates deeply in many cases only many decades later, if ever.

Fundamentalists (in any religion) misconstrue the significance of belief (not the word, but the older conception toward which the word is supposed to give rise) when they use no doubt well-informed rhetoric to excoriate those who do not hold their propositional understanding of what constitutes faithfulness.

But faithfulness is not about credo-correctness, but is more akin to a way of life and a set of habits that become instilled within the believer. In this respect, the tenor of Karen Armstrong's conversation mirrors the Aristotelian understanding of the nature of moral education: in this arena, parents fail, as pastors and priests and rabbis sometimes do, when they think that indoctrination rather than practical education in the mores of a way of life, are the best way to enable human beings to understand the signficance of religion in human lives.

Utterly fascinating listening, and well worth longer afterwards pondering, I highly recommend listening to this talk.

Lawrence Udell Fike, Jr.
Professor of Philosophy

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  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: K026626