Comments: 8
Buried In Print 6 years ago
I found her Short History of Myth really interesting too. Her way of summarizing (perhaps she also has a fantastic editorial team), and making grand topics succinct, is standout, I think.
Reflections 6 years ago
That is one I haven't read yet though it's on my mental TBR list--I'll have to move it closer to the top.
Classical Carousel 6 years ago
Thanks for the review, Reflections, and for introducing me to this book.

I think that the lust for power is the problem, not religion. Religion is used as an excuse. If there was no religion, the excuse would just be something else.

I've been meaning to read Armstrong for awhile. Perhaps this is the book I should choose!
Reflections 5 years ago
I think this would be a great Armstrong book for you to start with! Another one I really love, I literally spent months on it, is The Case for God.
Olga Godim 5 years ago
I haven't read this book but I've read your review. I think the issue is still under debates. Throughout times, societies with different dominant religions were more apt to start wars than others. At one time, it was Christianity. Now, it's Islam. Not the religion itself, I agree, but the people who take it to extremes. Their leaders, actually.
bookaneer 5 years ago
But even then, was religion the way of creating an easy soundbite for more complex socioeconomic issues and prejudice? An easy excuse, in the same way nationalism was? There's a sociologic concept of constructing an Other to bring about group cohesion. I've always seen war over religion as a highjacking of an ideal to that provide an emblem and a supposedly unassailable purpose. If one took away all religion, how soon would other social structures take their place as a vector for aggression and prejudice?
Olga Godim 5 years ago
Probably very soon, bookaneer. Speculative fiction writers have been experimenting with the idea for decades. Some OTHER always appears, no matter how advanced and fair a society seems to be. But maybe only in fiction? Could I hope?
Reflections 5 years ago
Armstrong spends some time on what she calls secular, state or ruler worshipping religions, starting with the situation after the French revolution and there are certainly examples of it both near and far today, and I'd agree that the "otherness" card is often played by those in power.