2013 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize
2013 winnerWinner's announcement
Karen Armstrong, for her wide-ranging, highly accessible books on comparative religion
Karen Armstrong has made a significant contribution to understanding the elements of overlap and commonality in different cultures and religions. Armstrong's work has drawn attention to the commonalities of the major religions, such as their emphasis on compassion. She rose to prominence in 1993 with her book A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Her substantial body of work also includes Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths (1996), Islam: A Short History (2000) The Case for God: What Religion Really Means (2009), and Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (2014). Her work has been translated into 45 languages.
In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public, crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It was launched globally in the autumn of 2009. Also in 2008, she was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal.