The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong is a historical survey of the period known as the “Axial Age,” which occurred between 900 and 200 BCE. During this time, major breakthroughs occurred in several parts of the world that created the foundations of today’s major religious traditions, including Buddhism and Hinduism in India, Confucianism and Daoism in China, monotheism in Israel, and philosophical rationalism in Greece.
Armstrong argues that the sages of this pivotal era can speak clearly and helpfully to the violence and desperation that we experience in our own times, and teach us to revive the spirit of compassion that is at the heart of all religions.
What I Liked
I really like all of Karen Armstrong’s books. She’s detailed, nuanced, and embraces the complexity inherent in religion. She writes fascinating books.
What I Did Not Like
All of Armstrong’s books can get a bit academic in parts.