Karen Armstrong: Life Story, Bio and Facts

Who is Karen Armstrong?

Karen Armstrong (born November 14, 1944) is a British author and commentator on religious affairs. She is best known for her books on the history of religion, including "A History of God," "The Battle for God," and "The Case for God."

Armstrong was born in Wildmoor, Worcestershire, England, and studied at St. Anne's College, Oxford, where she obtained a degree in English. She later entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order, and trained as a nun. After seven years, she left the order and later studied at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, where she obtained a degree in theology.


Armstrong began her career as a teacher and later became a freelance writer and broadcaster. She wrote her first book, "Through the Narrow Gate," in 1981, which was an account of her time as a nun. In 1993, she published "A History of God," which became an international bestseller and established her as an authority on the history of religion.

Armstrong's other notable works include "The Battle for God" (2000), which examines the rise of fundamentalism in the world's three monotheistic religions, and "The Case for God" (2009), which defends the idea of God against atheism and secularism. She also wrote "The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness" (2004), which is an account of her struggles with depression.

In 2008, Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize for her work on interfaith understanding and her wish was to create a Charter for Compassion, which launched in 2009. She also has been appointed as a member of the UK's Foreign Office Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Armstrong's work focuses on the commonalities between different religions, and she has been an advocate for greater understanding and tolerance between different faith traditions.

Karen Armstrong Fast Facts

Karen Armstrong (born 14 November 1944) is a British author, speaker and commentator on religious affairs. She is a former Roman Catholic nun and a leading expert on the world's religions.

* Armstrong was born in London, England and entered a convent of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus at the age of 17, but left seven years later.
* She studied English literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, and then embarked on a career as a teacher and writer.
* Armstrong has written more than 20 books on religion, including "A History of God," "The Battle for God," and "The Case for God."
* She is a frequent commentator on religious affairs, and has given lectures and speeches on the subject around the world.
* Armstrong is also a member of the Council of 100 Leaders at the World Economic Forum, and a member of the board of advisers for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
* She has been honored with several awards, including the TED Prize in 2008, for her work in promoting understanding of the world's religions.
* Armstrong has also been recognized for her efforts to promote dialogue and understanding between different religions and cultures, and for her work in promoting peace and tolerance.
* She continues to write and speak on religious issues, and her books and articles are widely read and respected.

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