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On Being Archived show on Karen Armstrong:
Joan Watson Jan 12, 2011 5:05 PM


I found this show about Karen Armstrong to be very interesting. The two parts that stood out the most to me was in the beginning about Karen being in a convent and the part about the similarities in religions.

I was first interested in the fact that she was in a convent and became a nun. This interested me because I am Catholic and I was raised in a strict Catholic environment. I can definently relate to how she felt when she went away from the Catholic church. I know that it can be so hard to stay with it and feel so strongly about it when everyone just pushes you to believe in a certain way. At such a young age (17), I know that most people do go through a phase where they question their surroundings, so that would make it even harder to stay and practice the faith. Also, after she left the church she basically found it hard for a while to even have her own oppinion on things. She no longer enjoyed poetry in the same way that she used to. I feel that this happened because she was in a convent for so long and was probably always told what to do and what to believe. When she left, she was no longer told what to believe, and so she no longer knew how she felt about things.

The part of the show that stood out to me the most was when she was talking about similarities in different religions. I found that to be so interesting. Karen said that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all came up with the same questions. The interesting thing about that is that they also all came up with the same answers. They also all felt strongly about compassion. Karen said that; "Compassion makes us de-throne ourselves from the center of our world." (the Freelance Monotheism of Karen Armstrong). I feel that this is a powerfull quote and very true. Compassion can make a person feel so strongly and do things that they normally wouldn't in their normal lives. Karen Armstrong also quoted Buddha and Jesus in the show. Buddha said; "The practice of compassion can introduce you to nirvana." Jesus said; "On the last day it is those who have visited the sick, naked, hungry, imprisoned, and cared for them who will enter the kingdom of God." (The Freelance Monotheism of Karen Armstrong). I never knew that these religions had such similar views on anything. Even though I am Catholic myself, I never studied or learned about similar religions to Christianity. Karen did mention a good point on why Jewish and Christian views could be similar is because Jesus was Jewish.