Karen Armstrong

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Karen Armstrong (born 14 November 1944) is a British author of many books on comparative religion and the history of religion, a television presenter and was a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus from 1962 to 1969. While in the convent, she studied English at St. Anne's College, Oxford, where she received a first. She pursued research into Tennyson at D.Phil level, but was failed by the external examiner.

Armstrong has written numerous biographies – of St. Paul, of Muhammed and of the Buddha – as well as two autobiographies, a history of religion and a history of religious fundamentalism.

Armstrong's approach to religion in The Case for God (and numerous other volumes and articles) is liberal and pluralist: she writes of how religion is primarily about myth rather than beliefs or dogmas (logos, as she describes it). The differences between religions are "surface differences" and all religions really preach compassion. Fundamentalism, according to Armstrong, is a modern invention - born out of politics rather than as some kind of recapturing of the fundamentals of the faith as the fundamentalists themselves believe (and which some of their secular opponents and opponents in other faiths agree).