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National Book Festival Presents: Karen Armstrong, The Lost Art of Scripture

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 7:00pm
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

Picture of Karen Armstrong. Library of Congress logo and text that reads "Karen Armstrong"

This event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required for entry. Register here and reserve your copy of the book

Please join us for a special evening with Karen Armstrong, a Library of Congress National Book Festival Presents event.

At a time of intolerance and mutual incomprehension, renowned scholar and TED Prize-winner Karen Armstrong's latest book, The Lost Art of Scripture, shines fresh light on the world's major religions to help us build bridges between faiths and rediscover a creative and spiritual engagement with holy texts.

Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religious affairs, including The Case for God, A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five 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, and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The charter was launched globally in the fall of 2009. She is currently an ambassador for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

To join the signing line for this event and meet Karen Armstrong, attendees must purchase a copy of her latest book The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts when registering for a ticket or onsite at the event. Other Karen Armstrong books will be available for purchase at the event. No memorabilia or books from home will be signed.

The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. A ticket does not guarantee entry into the event.

When the auditorium reaches capacity, some ticketed guests may be seated in an overflow location and view the program on screens.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management. We recommend arriving when doors open.

Arrive early! Ticket holders will be invited to view a display of items from the Library’s extensive collection of religious texts and iconography prior to the start of the event. The display will be available for viewing from 6:00pm – 7:00pm on the night of the program.

Seeking a deeper connection to the Library? Join a special after-hours tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building, one of the most beautiful interiors in Washington, before author Karen Armstrong talks about her new book. The 45-minute tour will weave together themes in Armstrong’s writings on world religions as we discuss how faith is visually represented in the building and in the Library’s extensive holdings on religion. Docents will escort tour participants to guaranteed seating in the Coolidge Auditorium in time for the event. Tours begin at 5:30pm; doors for tour participants open at 5:15pm. (limited to 120 people – please select a ticket + tour option at checkout to opt-in)

Please request ADA accommodations at least 5 days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or

Make your gift to support the Library’s free literary programs: DONATE.

East City Bookshop is proud to be the official bookseller for this event.