Ms Karen Armstrong OBE

Karen Armstrong OBE was appointed to the British Museum board in October 2008 and reappointed for a second four year term in October 2012.

Karen is one of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs. She is a best-selling author, whose books have been translated into forty languages.

Her early work focused on the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but she has since begun to explore the eastern religions. She is also a broadcaster, columnist, and is much sought after throughout the world as a public speaker.

Her focus is not only on theology and spirituality but on the political implications of faith in the modern world.

In 2008 she won the TED Prize and, as a result, created the Charter for Compassion, a document calling for a practical implementation of the Golden Rule in public and private life, which was crafted by leading thinkers and activists in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism and has inspired a global movement (

In 2008, she was also awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. In 2013, she received the British Academy's inaugural Nayef al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding, and in 2015, ISESCO gave two awards: one for an institution that had made a significant contribution to the task of educating the public about Islam, which was won by the British Museum for its exhibition Hajj, Journey to the Heart of Islam; Karen won the award for individual educators.

Her work has been translated into forty-five languages and her books include: Muhammad, A Biography of the Prophet (1991); A History of God (1993), which became an international bestseller; Jerusalem, One City, Three Faiths (1996); The Battle for God, A History of Fundamentalism (2000); Islam, A Short History (2000); Buddha (2001); The Spiral Staircase: A Memoir (2004); A Short History of Myth (2005); The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions (2006); Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time (2006), The Bible: A Biography (2007) The Case for God (2009); Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (2010) and, most recently, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (2014).


Ms Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong © Jerry Bauer