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The Myth of Religious Violence, Stargazing at the Vatican, and More
November 05, 2014
Summary: Karen Armstrong examines the knotted history of religion and violence, and a conversation with the Jesuit priests who run the Vatican's observatory.
Alfred A. Knopf
Karen Armstrong: Don't Blame Religion For Terrorism November 06, 2014
In a time when Muslim extremists quote the Koran as they behead their victims, it can be easy to assume that religions contain what Karen Armstrong calls "a violent essence." She knows that many people think that "once combatants are convinced that God is on their side, compromise becomes impossible." In her new book, this master explainer of comparative religion traverses nearly 7,000 years worth of human history to prove that idea wrong.

Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
Random House
The Vatican's Astronomers Are Taking Your Questions November 06, 2014
Of all the questions that Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father Paul Mueller get asked as scientists at the Vatican's observatory, the one that comes up the most is simply, "Why does the Vatican have an observatory?" It's a good question, for a church somewhat erroneously known for convicting Galileo of heresy in the 17th century. But it turns out that the Catholic Church has long embraced the human need to understand the stars and planets. 

Br. Guy Consolmagno and Fr. Paul Mueller, authors of Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? ...and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the Vatican Observatory