"Through the Narrow Gate" is Karen Armstrong's intimate memoir of life inside a Catholic convent. With refreshing honesty and clarity, the book takes readers on a revelatory adventure that begins with Armstrong's decision in the course of her spiritual training offers a fascinating view into a shrouded religious life, and a vivid, moving account of the spiritual coming age of one of our most loved and respected interpreters of religious.
After leaving her religious order in 1969, Karen Armstrong took a degree at Oxford University and taught modern literature. She is also the author of the bestselling "A History of God." Her other books include "Beginning of the World," "The Gospel According to Woman," "Buddha," "Holy War," and "Mohammed." Now featuring a new introduction by the author, "Through the Narrow Gate" is an articulate, highly compelling autobiography concerning life inside a Catholic convent. A leading religious scholar, author, and commentator (who eventually left her religious order in 1969), Armstrong takes readers on a candid if not revelatory adventure that begins with her decision, at age 17, to become a nun and devote herself to God. What she discovers over the course of her religious training--and Mary McCarthy once called this work "the most full and honest book that I've read on this subject"--gives readers a fascinating view into a shrouded religious life.
This classic autobiography, moreover, is a detailed meditation on spiritual coming of age--and on the nature and character of faith itself. As Armstrong writes in her new introduction: "Writing "Through the Narrow Gate" started something that I did not expect. Almost by accident, I did become a writer, began to explore the history of the great world religions, and to investigate the notions of God and the sacred. I have told the story of this post-convent quest in "The Spiral Staircase." But the search began here, in this first memoir." "A scrupulous record of one woman's spiritual journey, excellently written and profoundly moving."--"Cosmopolitan"
"An emotive, spiritually intimate, and often quite moving memoir . . . Written with affection, some humor, and a bittersweet regret."--"Kirkus Reviews"