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Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life [Hardcover]

Karen Armstrong
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 28 2010
Karen Armstrong explains how to practise the religion of compassion that her last books have preached.

In November 2009 Armstrong and TED launched The Charter of Compassion, which states that "We call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings — even those regarded as enemies." To date, it's been signed by over 48,000 people on the Web, including such figures as The Dalai Lama and Queen Noor, Dave Eggers and Meg Ryan. ( Out of the ideals of that Charter has come this humane, accessible, indispensable short book for our times.

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“Karen Armstrong is a genius.”
 — A.N. Wilson, author of Jesus: A Life
“Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic.”
 — The New York Times Book Review
“Armstrong is a masterful writer.”
 — Publishers Weekly
“Armstrong has the gift of being able to compress a lot of information into a small space without losing focus or clarity.”
 — Edmonton Journal

About the Author

KAREN ARMSTRONG, one of the foremost commentators on religious affairs, is the bestselling author of A History of God (1993), The Battle for God (2000), Islam: A Short History (2000), Buddha (2001), The Spiral Staircase (2004), The Great Transformation (2006) and The Case for God (2009), among many other books. Having spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, she left her order in 1969 and took a B.Litt. at Oxford, taught modern literature at the University of London and headed the English department of a public girls' school. She became a freelance writer and broadcaster in 1982, and in 1983 she worked in the Middle East on a six-part documentary television series on the life and works of St. Paul. Her other television work has included Varieties of Religious Experience (1984) and Tongues of Fire (1985); the latter resulted in an anthology by that name on religious and poetic expression. In 1996 she participated in Bill Moyers' television series Genesis. She has taught at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and the Training of Rabbis and Teachers and was awarded the 1999 Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award. She regularly contributes reviews and articles to newspapers and journals.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compassion in all its forms Jan. 26 2011
Discusses self-compassion, compassion for others, and international compassion from the historical, philosophical, and comparative religious perspectives. Reproduces the Charter for Compassion, describing how it was developed, and how this book is one of several projects aimed at implementing it. Contains dozens of practical activities for strengthening the several kinds of compassion. Athiests will need to do a few mental gyrations to apply the concepts to themselves, which are presented in religious language. Well written, engaging, and concrete rather than theoretical.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book about a meaningful life March 23 2011
This book is for those who want spirituality without dogma. Karen Armstrong shows that compassion is at the heart of all great religions and gives practical guidance on how to become compassionate. In a beautifully written text, she gives us the benefit of her extensive studies of comparative religion in a way that is accessible to all and offensive to none. It is practical, useful, hopeful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve Steps to A compasionate Life July 27 2011
Beautiful and excellent reading for people that are looking for soul searching and spiritual awakening.A history and comparison of religions and how we can all live together and love each other accepting our differences. It will also enhance your English vocabulary since the writer uses very rich vocabulary.
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