From Karen Armstrong, the bestselling author of A History of God
and The Spiral Staircase
, comes this extraordinary investigation of a critical moment in the evolution of religious thought.In the ninth century BCE, events in four regions of the civilized world led to the rise of religious traditions that have endured to the present day--the development of Confucianism and Daoism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Armstrong, one of our most prominent religious scholars, examines how these traditions began in response to the violence of their time. Studying figures as diverse as the Buddha and Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah, Armstrong reveals how these still enduring philosophies can help address our contemporary problems.
“A splendid book. . . . Lucid, highly readable. . . . Relevan[t] to a world still embroiled in military conflict and sectarian hatreds.” —The New York Times“Masterful. . . . Stimulating. . . . A tour de force.” —The Christian Science Monitor“The Great Transformation is Armstrong at her best–translating and distilling complex history into lucid prose. . . . Her call to rededicate our religious selves to compassion, other-directed love and service is downright rousing.” —The Washington Post“Remarkable and persuasive.” —The Independent“Perhaps her most ambitious work to date. . . . Thoroughly researched and readable.” —The San Francisco Chronicle