Armstrong, Karen The Spiral Staircase CD

ISBN 13: 9780060594381

The Spiral Staircase CD

3.99 avg rating
( 5,355 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060594381: The Spiral Staircase CD

A raw, intensely personal memoir of spiritual exploration from one of the world’s great commentators on religion.

After seven years in a convent, which she left, dismayed by its restrictions, an experience recounted in ‘Through the Narrow Gate’, Karen Armstrong struggled to establish herself in a new way of life, and became entrapped in a downward spiral, haunted by despair, anorexia and suicidal feelings.

Despite her departure from the convent she remained within the Catholic Church until the God she believed in 'died on me', and she entered a ‘wild and Godless period of crazy parties and numerous lovers’. Her attempts to reach happiness and carve out a career failed repeatedly, in spectacular fashion. She began writing her bestseller ‘A History of God’ in a spirit of scepticism, but through studying other religious traditions she found a very different kind of faith which drew from Christianity, Judaism and Islam and, eventually, spiritual and personal calm.

In her own words, her ‘story is a graphic illustration – almost an allegory – of a widespread dilemma. It is emblematic of a more general flight from institutional religion and a groping towards a form of faith that has not yet been fully articulated but which is nevertheless in the process of declaring itself’. Her lifelong inability to pray and to conform to traditional structures of worship is shared by the many who are leaving the established churches but who desire intensely a spiritual aspect to their lives.

‘The Spiral Staircase’ grapples with the issue of how we can be religious in the contemporary world, and the place and possibility of belief in the 21st-century.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"I have decided to try again", Karen Armstrong writes at the beginning of The Spiral Staircase, in explaining why she is telling her life story for a second time, 20 years after doing so in Beginning the World. "We should probably all pause to confront our past from time to time, because it changes its meaning as our circumstances alter." That's a clue to the sort of open-minded and intensive inquiry that Armstrong is capable of, which has made her, in those 20 years, a bestselling theologian and historian of religion, known for such hugely popular books as The Battle for God, A History of God, and Islam: A Short History.

In the lucid yet reflective manner that is Armstrong's trademark, The Spiral Staircase recalls her painful early life as a nun, her even more painful reentry into secular society, and most compellingly, the long-undiagnosed epilepsy that made her life a horror show of phantom visions and misplaced hours. We follow Armstrong to the Middle East and elsewhere as she searches for answers to questions no less daunting than the significance of faith. Yet what drives Armstrong is her distaste for and distrust of those who see only black or white, never shades of grey. "I disliked the crusading certainty of Ayatollah Khomeini, yet I was also disturbed by the shrill rhetoric of some of Rushdie's champions", she writes in the wake of debate over Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and the ensuing fatwa issued by the extremists on the Islamic right. Indeed, as religious dogma divides the world in ever new ways, Armstrong's learned views are especially resonant. But The Spiral Staircase, its name inspired by TS Eliot's poem cycle Ash-Wednesday, is not a polemic, despite Armstrong's forceful and persuasive arguments for religious tolerance. Rather, it's a beautiful letter sent by a gifted writer attempting to decode the meaning of her life. --Kim Hughes, Amazon.com

Review:

‘An exceptionally impressive autobiography…Karen Armstrong’s account of her spiralling journey provokes thought and inspires respect.’Daily Telegraph

‘The book deserves many readers…Karen Armstrong must be a woman of iron to have survived, made a career and a life.’ Hilary Mantel

‘Admirably lucid…she gives a more exact and vivid account of the pleasures of writing than any I have seen.’ Sunday Times

‘Unputdownable – absorbing, moving.’ Daily Mail

‘A subtle and funny memoir.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Armstrong manages to put into words something that most of us cannot express.’ New Statesman

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Armstrong, Karen
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0060594381 ISBN 13: 9780060594381
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New, This is an audio book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060594381

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.81
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Armstrong, Karen
Published by Harperaudio (2004)
ISBN 10: 0060594381 ISBN 13: 9780060594381
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Commerce, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harperaudio, 2004. CMD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780060594381

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
15.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Armstrong, Karen
Published by Harperaudio (2004)
ISBN 10: 0060594381 ISBN 13: 9780060594381
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harperaudio, 2004. Audio CD. Book Condition: Brand New. abridged edition. 5.75x5.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0060594381

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
54.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Karen Armstrong
ISBN 10: 0060594381 ISBN 13: 9780060594381
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800605943811.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
65.08
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds