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Religion in Our Time

Will Our Faith Help Us to Unite or to Continue More Divided?


Subject: An Interview proposal to Ms. Karen ARMSTRONG
Today's date: January 19, 2002

Dear Ms. Armstrong:

Some of our American readers asked me to enlighten them on the Light Millennium e-platform on the religion of Islam, because Americans do not know anything about this faith.  The reason they have asked me is because I am originally from Turkey.

Then I remembered your book ISLAM. I first came across it, if I am not mistaken, 2-3 years ago, and I was surprised to see that a woman author had written on such a topic.  I do not know much about Islam myself because during my teenager period, as a young girl, I refused to study or learn about it.

Furthermore, until recent years, the QURAN was not available in Turkish in Turkey.  It was only available in Arabic and it was only fundamentalists that could read and comment on it.  Nor was it taught in our educational system.

In October, I also came across your other book, "A History of God" at Barnes & Noble, one of the New York City chapters.  I was mesmerized.  This was such a challenging and courageous concept.   After this, I was to discover most of your other books.

Thus, via your books, I am willing to educate myself on the religions better and to try to comprehend them beyond my own prejudices.

As a result, I kindly request with my all strength that you might participate in a written interview for the Light Millennium, Winter-2002 - 2nd Anniversary issue.  If you would accept it, I would like to dedicate the upcoming issue with your permission to you, alongside with the prominent Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet & electronic music composer Ilhan Mimaroglu.

Your time and attention will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely yours,
Bircan Unver

The Light Millennium's interest in Karen Armstrong has been a keen and ongoing one.  Following the request from our readers that we enlighten them on the subject of Islam, Bircan was convinced of the need to get in touch with this best selling scholar.  We were mainly a bunch of secularists, and cynics as well, with no claims to any kind of religious erudition or even upbringing, and here was someone who had lived the religious life, as well as written prolifically on all the major world religions.  We couldn't think of anyone else who might compare with the depth and breadth of her work, and who could speak more compellingly to our readers.  In the end, as Ms. Armstrong was in the midst of a whirlwind book tour, and as The Light Millennium could not afford to make the trip to London, and it was very difficult to realize this interview over the phone, I was asked to write a profile on Ms. Armstrong.  Through Bircan's efforts and direction, and with many thanks to Angela Dogancay as well, who prepared the original questions in reference to Islam: A Short History, I set out trying to encapsulate some of the overwhelming knowledge which Ms. Armstrong packs so elegantly into her books and interviews, to open up some kind of discussion on this vast and sensitive topic, that of the religious experience, and to provide a bridge for any of our readers who might not yet know of this great spiritual voice of reason.

Julie Mardin, July 2002

Religion in Our Time

Will Our Faith Help us to Unite or
Will It Continue to Divide?

Go to page >Page: 1

This issue dedicated to such distinguished author Karen ARMSTRONG &
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. 9th issue. Summer 2002, New York.
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