Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Karen Armstrong has written a lot about religion. From her memoir about her time as a nun, Through the Narrow Gate, through Islam: A Short History (both of which we've read) & beyond, this is an author who has explored many different religious traditions. In 2008, she won the TED Prize-awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, "One Wish to Change the World." Karen Armstrong's wish was create The Charter for Compassion.

The Charter for Compassion was "crafted in 2009 by prominent religious leaders of many faiths and the general public. [Armstrong] believes that all religions are saying the same things, albeit in different ways, and that we must restore compassion to the heart of our religious practices." [BookPage] You can read the charter here. 60,963 people have affirmed the charter so far; famous charter affirmers include author Isabel Allende.

Now Karen Armstrong has written a book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, which outlines a program to show us how to “dethrone ourselves from the centre of our worlds.” This book was reviewed in a BookPage article called "Books to Inspire Change"-read the rest of the reviews here. You can also watch an interesting Bill Moyers Journal featuring Karen Armstrong here. Or check out the video below of Armstrong making her TED Prize wish!

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