Tuesday, December 07, 2004

This weekend I read The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness by Karen Armstrong. This is a second sequel to Through the Narrow Gate, which I read earlier this year. In this book Karen revisits the events that she already wrote about in Beginning the World, written soon after she'd left the convent. She criticizes her own work and argues that she needed the distance of time to properly appreciate what she went through and that she lacked the perspective and assertiveness to accurately portray those years. I haven't read Beginning, so I can't compare the two, but from the comparisons she makes, I believe this is a darker, less optimistic book. She describes the unknown attacks she suffered and the years of inaccurate treatment she went through before finally being diagnosed with epilepsy and the effects that had on her academic career. Mostly though, she talks about how she turned her back on the church and how she eventually made her way back to God through her research and writing, including her recent books on non-Christian religions.

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