Karen Armstrong Weighs In on 'Ground Zero Mosque' Debate
Chautauqua Institution - Hall of Philosophy
Karen Armstrong is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence in 1993 with her highly successful A History of God. A former Catholic nun, she asserts that, "All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences." They each have in common, she says, an emphasis on the transcendent importance of compassion, as epitomized in the so-called Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.Awarded the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008, she called for drawing up a Charter for Compassion in the spirit of the Golden Rule, to identify shared moral priorities across religious traditions, in order to foster global understanding. It was unveiled in Washington, D.C. in November 2009. Signatories include Prince Hassan of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson.