The Freedom of Worship Award 2008 was presented to Dr. Karen Armstrong for her dedication to the ideal of true peace, based on mutual understanding, and her appeal to the positive powers of spirituality.
Speech Karen Armstrong
More about Karen Armstrong
The Freedom of Worship Award for Karen Armstrong could as well be called the Award for Spirituality. Spiritual movements, faith, religion and scholarship form the nucleus of a working life and a large oeuvre that has numerous readers and admirers.
Karen Armstrong (1944) entered an English convent as a girl of eighteen years old, only to leave it seven years later. She went on to study literature in Oxford (St Anne's) and she became a lecturer. In 1981 a serious illness forced her to seek other ways. She wrote the autobiographical book Through the Narrow Gate and increasingly focused on the study of the three monotheistic world religions: Christianity, the Jewish faith and Islam. Later she also wrote outside the direct area of religion, about the philosophy of life of Buddhism. Her books, the personal biographies of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and her appearances on TV became popular.
Dr Armstrong developed her very own vision, regarded as a provocation by some, on faith and the connections between the religions. In her work she denies any movement the right to prevail over another, and she propagates the opinion that God cannot be monopolized. Karen Armstrong regards secularization as an experiment, a fashion gimmick: 'Religion is not inspired but created'. After her very successful publications, 2009 would see the appearance of The Case for God.
The Freedom of Worship Award 2008 was presented to Dr Karen Armstrong for her dedication to the ideal of true peace, based on mutual understanding, and her appeal to the positive powers of spirituality.
Her presenters were Anna-Eleanor, granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mrs Franklin D. Roosevelt jr.
Positions and publications
Ze wrote the following books:
- Through the Narrow Gate
- The Spiral Staircase
- A History of God
- Muhammed: A Prophet For Our Time
- Jerusalem: One City en Three Faiths.