Ms. Karen Armstrong, a prominent scholar of the history of world religions, spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun before leaving her teaching order in 1969. She studied English Literature at the University of Oxford, earning B.A. and M.Litt degrees. Since then she has taught modern literature at the University of London, and headed the English department of a girls’ public school.
Ms. Armstrong is a prolific writer and broadcaster. She appears regularly on radio and television, commenting on religious affairs in England and the United States, and is a frequent contributor to conferences, panels, newspapers and periodicals on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, she is a regular columnist for the Guardian. Her television work includes documentary series on historical religious figures and the nature of religious experience. She has taught part-time for many years at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and the Training of Rabbis and Teachers. However, since September 11, 2001, she has become more widely known for her work on Islam and Fundamentalism, particularly in the United States. She has addressed members of the United States Congress and has participated in the World Economic Forum in New York and Davos.
Among her many books are A History of God, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, and Holy War: The Crusades and their Impact on Today’s World. She has been translated into forty languages. Her most recent book is The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions.