From Catholic nun to respected author on the world's religions

Putting an unhappy life in a convent behind her gave Karen Armstrong the latitude to see value in other faiths

Historian Karen Armstrong, who is based in London, was in Singapore last week to speak at the first International Conference on Cohesive Societies.
Historian Karen Armstrong, who is based in London, was in Singapore last week to speak at the first International Conference on Cohesive Societies. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY
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At 17, Ms Karen Armstrong defied her parents to become a Catholic nun.

The church sent her to Oxford University, where she studied literature as she was meant to contribute to the teaching ministry. But all that thinking put her at odds with the demands of life in the convent, which required her to be obedient and silent most of the time.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2019, with the headline From Catholic nun to respected author on the world's religions. Subscribe