Charter for Compassion Launch with Karen Armstrong
On November 12, 2009, the "Charter for Compassion" was unveiled to the world, and the Berkley Center hosted a roundtable discussion with Karen Armstrong as part of the Charter's global launch. The "Charter for Compassion" is an interfaith initiative that seeks to apply shared moral principles to foster global interreligious understanding. Georgetown faculty, staff, and students posed questions about the Charter's drafting process, the action agenda for the Charter, and how the idea of compassion finds expression in diverse religious and secular traditions.
Karen Armstrong is a leading expert on the Abrahamic religions and author on comparative religion. Born in England, Armstrong felt compelled to leave her Catholic convent and grow hostile to religion. Sent to Jerusalem to lead research on a BBC documentary on St. Paul, Armstrong rediscovered her faith and also developed a deep appreciation for the faiths of Jews and Muslims which has guided her subsequent work. Her works include A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1996), Islam: A Short History (2000), and The Bible: A Biography (2007). In 2008, Armstrong developed the “Charter for Compassion,” an interfaith initiative that seeks to apply shared moral principles to foster global interreligious understanding and launched on November 12, 2009. A 2008 participant in the first forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, Armstrong has been a member of the High-level Group, a body of international leaders guiding the Alliance’s work.