Monday 18th October, 2021
Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness (HarperCollins, 2004).
Image: Camila Quintero Franco, Calgary, Canada.
This quote is from Karen Armstrong's The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness (HarperCollins, 2004). Born in the UK in 1944, Armstrong is a former Catholic religious sister whose spiritual journeying from a conservative faith towards one that is far more liberal and open to the mystical resulted in her leaving convent life in 1969. Since then she has become well known for her prolific writing on comparative religion. She is particularly known for addressing concepts that are held in common across different faith traditions, such as compassion and 'The Golden Rule' - do not treat others as you would not like them to treat you: see, for example, her extensive discussion of both in Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (Bodley Head, 2011). In 2008 Karen Armstrong received the $100,000 TED Prize (see here) for her ground-breaking work in this area and used this occasion to call for the creation of a Charter for Compassion (see here), which urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassionate living. It is perhaps useful to re-read her quote for this week in this context!