Karen Armstrong

The endless speculation about the next world is depriving you of a great experience in this one.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, every leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look like Britain and France.

Religion is supposed to be about the loss of the ego, not about its eternal survival.

Portrait of Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong (born 1944) is an author on comparative religion. She has called for drawing up a Charter for Compassion, in the spirit of the Golden Rule, in order to foster global understanding and a more peaceful world. She was awarded the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008. Signatories include the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson.

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Watch Armstrong make her TED Prize wish

Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.

After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it.

Religion is a search for transcendence. But transcendence is not necessarily sited in an external god.