Karen Armstrong is one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs. She is a best-selling author, whose books have been translated into forty languages. Her early work focused on the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but she has since begun to explore the eastern religions. She is also a broadcaster, columnist, and is much sought after throughout the world as a public speaker. Her focus is not only on theology and spirituality but on the political implications of faith in the modern world.
Karen Armstrong spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun in the 1960s, but then left her teaching order in 1969. She studied English Literature at the University of Oxford, earning the degrees of B.A. and M.Litt. Since 1982 she has been a full-time writer and broadcaster. Her books include: A History of God (1993), which became an international bestseller; Jerusalem, One City, Three Faiths (1996); The Battle for God, A History of Fundamentalism (2000); Islam, A Short History (2000);. The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2006); and Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time (2006).
Since September 11, 2001, she has become chiefly known for her work on Islam and Fundamentalism, particularly in the United States but she is also increasingly invited to address politicians, businessmen and religious leaders in Muslim countries. In 2005, she was invited to take part in the United Nations initiative "The Alliance of Civilizations," which presented its report to Kofi Anan in Istanbul in November 2006.