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The Lost Art of Scripture

Rescuing the Sacred Texts
Narrated by: Karen Armstrong
Length: 24 hrs and 26 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Today, the Quran is used by some to justify war and acts of terrorism, the Torah to deny Palestinians the right to live in the Land of Israel, and the Bible to condemn homosexuality and contraception. The significance of Scripture may not be immediately obvious in our secular world, but its misunderstanding is perhaps the root cause of many of today's controversies.

In this timely and important audiobook, one of the most trusted and admired writers on the world of faith examines the meaning of Scripture. The sacred texts have been co-opted by fundamentalists, who insist that they must be taken literally, and by others who interpret Scripture to bolster their own prejudices. These texts are seen to prescribe ethical norms and codes of behavior that are divinely ordained: They are believed to contain eternal truths. But as Karen Armstrong shows in this chronicle of the development and significance of major religions, such a narrow, peculiar reading of Scripture is a relatively recent, modern phenomenon. For most of their history, the world's religious traditions have regarded these texts as tools that enable the individual to connect with the divine, to experience a different level of consciousness, and to help them engage with the world in more meaningful and compassionate ways.

At a time of intolerance and mutual incomprehension, The Lost Art of Scripture shines fresh light on the world's major religions to help us build bridges between faiths and rediscover a creative and spiritual engagement with holy texts.

©2019 Karen Armstrong (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"In her most profound, important book to date.... Both nonbelievers and believers will find her diagnosis - that most people now read scripture to confirm their own views, rather than to achieve transformation - on the mark.... This is an instant classic of accessible and relevant religious history." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"In her latest, esteemed religion writer Armstrong...once again demonstrates her encyclopedic knowledge of the world’s religions.... Armstrong’s grasp of global religious history and thought is beyond impressive.... For those willing to travel this road with the author, the journey is expansive and worthwhile and will make them reconsider what scripture means to those who admire it. Excellent reading for religious scholars and students." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Formidable...serious and inspiring...exhilarating, challenging, and curiously comforting.... Written not only with intellectual rigor and an accessible turn of phrase, but also with love." (Prospect Magazine)

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  • Overall
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Karen Armstrong does it again

Builds slowly to a beautiful and terrifying crescendo. There were some phrases and descriptions that were recognizable from her other work, but that made the book none-the-less entertaining because, frankly, they were worth repeating. 5/5 stars

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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SERIOUSLY FLAWED RECORDING

This audiobook is badly flawed. The narration jumps from the middle of chapter five to the middle of chapter 10, leaving out more than twenty percent of the book. Where is quality control!

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STOP! DON'T BUY AUDIBLE VERSION

I have both the hard cover book and the Audible version. I like to listen and read the book at the same time. Today I discovered a skip of 122 pages in the Audible version. Armstrong finishes the first paragraph on page 137 (at about 17 hr, 48 min remaining) then skips to the last paragraph on page 259. It is noticeable because the subject has been about Chinese history then all of a sudden skips to the Quran. I'm not taking the time to see if the Audible version gets back in order I will let Audible fix it and replace my present copy before I continue with the book.

BTW, I can clearly hear Armstrong's voice and appreciate her pronouncing the difficult names and words. I have read many of her books. Listening and reading at the same time is great for me.

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Perfect

Lots of information that was easy to absorb because it was so well presented. Not all authors do justice to their books, but Karen Armstrong was just right.

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Important Incite to understanding scripture.

I am not a religious scolar or student of the worlds faiths, but am a seiker of meaning and truth. This book does not answer those questions, but provides context for inspiration throughout the world from the very begining of oral traditions until today. Connects a lot of dots. Took lots of notes and bookmarks that I will look fot as this wealth of information digests.

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Audibility issue

Although I find the author's work important, well researched and written, I have difficulty understanding her reading unless the volume is turned up to a high level. I listen to audible books regularly but regrettably find this reading indistinct.