The Case for God

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The Case for God
AuthorKaren Armstrong
SubjectHistory of religion
Publication date
Media typePrint

The Case for God is a 2009 book by Karen Armstrong. It covers the history of religion, from the paleolithic age to the present day, with a focus on the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and on apophatic theology in various religions.

Another theme is intellectual beliefs versus practice. Armstrong claims that the fundamental reality, later called God, Brahman, nirvana or Tao, transcends human concepts and thoughts, and can only be known through devoted religious practice.[1][2][3][4][5]

In 2009, the book was awarded the Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize by the University of Tübingen in recognition of its contribution to the fields of theology, philosophy and intellectual history, and for improving international understanding and tolerance among faiths.[6]


In the introduction, Armstrong presents two forms of knowledge, mythos and logos.[7] Since the 16th and 17th century, she says logos governed civilization, resulting in two phenomena: fundamentalism and atheism.[8] Armstrong says that the new atheists have made some invalid criticisms of religion. She states, "I can sympathize with the irritation of the new atheists", but she maintains that they have focused primarily on fundamentalism. She says they "aren't radical enough" and finds their work "disappointingly shallow".[9] According to Armstrong, "My aim in this book is simply to bring something fresh to the table."[10]


  1. ^ "All quiet on the God front". The Guardian. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  2. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (16 July 2009). "The Case for God: What Religion Means By Karen Armstrong". New Statesman. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  3. ^ "Perpetual Revelations". New York Times. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  4. ^ "The Case for God: What Religion Really Means by Karen Armstrong". The Sunday Times. 5 July 2009.
  5. ^ Miller, Lisa (11 September 2009). "Out, Out, Damned Atheists: Karen Armstrong weighs in on God". Newsweek. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  6. ^ "Lucas-Preis (Lucas-Prize)". Mohr Siebeck. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  7. ^ Armstrong 2009, p. xi.
  8. ^ Armstrong 2009, p. xv.
  9. ^ Armstrong 2009, p. xvi.
  10. ^ Armstrong 2009, p. xvii.


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