The Battle for God

A History of Fundamentalism

Publisher: Ballantine Books
In our supposedly secular age governed by reason and technology, fundamentalism has emerged as an overwhelming force in every major world religion. Why? This is the fascinating, disturbing question that bestselling author Karen Armstrong addresses in her brilliant new book The Battle for God. Writing with the broad perspective and deep understanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for A History of God, Armstrong illuminates the spread of militant piety as a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history.

Contrary to popular belief, fundamentalism is not a throwback to some ancient form of religion but rather a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world. As Armstrong argues, the collapse of a piety rooted in myth and cult during the Renaissance forced people of faith to grasp for new ways of being religious--and fundamentalism was born. Armstrong focuses here on three fundamentalist movements: Protestant fundamentalism in America, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran--exploring how each has developed its own unique way of combating the assaults of modernity.

Blending history, sociology, and spirituality, The Battle for God is a compelling and compassionate study of a radical form of religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history.



One of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has
been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant
piety popularly known as "fundamentalism." Its manifestations are
sometimes shocking. Fundamentalists have gunned down worshippers in...
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1. Have you or someone close to you ever adhered to a religious group that Karen Armstrong would define as fundamentalist? Does her view of funda-mentalism "ring true" for you?

2. Karen Armstrong uses the terms mythos and logos to describe "two ways of thinking, speaking, and acquiring knowledge....

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"One of the most penetrating, readable, and prescient accounts to date of the rise of the fundamentalist movements in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."
--The New York Times Book Review

"EXCELLENT . . . HIGHLY INTELLIGENT AND HIGHLY READABLE . . . This is a book that will prove indispensable . . . for anyone who seeks insight into how these powerful movements affect global politics and society today and into the future."
--The Baltimore Sun

"ARMSTRONG SUCCEEDS BRILLIANTLY . . . With her astonishing depth of knowledge and readily accessible writing style, [she] makes an ideal guide in traversing a subject that is by its very nature complex, sensitive and frequently ambiguous."
--The San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle

--The Boston Globe