As usual, I’m reading about 5 books concurrently. One good book leads to another, and the chain that started this one has had quite an effect on me, leading to me changing my dissertation topic. It all started with a review in Guardian of Karen Armstrong’s work, and lead me to getting a copy over the Summer of “A History of God”. I’m about half-way through that. This is exactly what it says it is – a history of monotheism. Battling local cults in the fertile crescent of the eastern med, combined with the earliest cities result in the Optimus Prime of gods, Yawhe, leading the pack. Its accessible, and for someone like me, who likes a bit of non-religiously motivated bible history, it is a treat.
Armstrong is a well regarded Abrahamic scholar, and has been a useful public intellectual in the discussions around Islam in the west. She used to be a nun, but her personal history leads her through a not inconsiderable amount of suffering, so my next blog post will be about the next book in the chain, a discussion of compassion.