Best Selling Books by Reza Aslan

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Zealot

release date: Jul 16, 2013
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Zealot
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A lucid, intelligent page-turner” (Los Angeles Times) that challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus, from the host of Believer Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his death, his followers would call him God. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most enigmatic figures by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction. He explores the reasons the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus’ life and mission. Praise for Zealot “Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”—The New Yorker “Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image.”—The Seattle Times “[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait.”—Salon “This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”—San Francisco Chronicle “A special and revealing work, one that believer and skeptic alike will find surprising, engaging, and original.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power “Compulsively readable . . . This superb work is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

God

release date: Nov 07, 2017
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God
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God. In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large. In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.” But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives. Praise for God “Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary.”—HuffPost “Tantalizing . . . Driven by [Reza] Aslan’s grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life.”—The Seattle Times “A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “[Aslan’s] slim, yet ambitious book [is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it’s thoroughly mind-blowing.”—Los Angeles Review of Books “Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Beyond Fundamentalism

release date: Apr 06, 2010
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Beyond Fundamentalism
“A very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism” (The Washington Post) from the bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer The wars in the Middle East have become religious wars in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked America on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting in the name of God. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, the United States, by infusing the War on Terror with its own religiously polarizing rhetoric, is fighting a similar war—a war that can’t be won. Beyond Fundamentalism is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling militants throughout the Muslim world and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At a time when religion and politics increasingly share the same vocabulary and function in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie at its root. How do you win a religious war? By refusing to fight in one. Featuring new content and updated analysis • Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War “[A] thoughtful analysis of America’s War on Terror.” —The New Yorker “Offers a very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism.”—The Washington Post “[Reza] Aslan dissects a complex subject (terrorism and globalization) and distills it with a mix of narrative writing, personal anecdotes, reportage and historical analysis.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Aslan is not only a perspicuous, thoughtful interpreter of the Muslim world but also a subtle psychologist of the call to jihad.”—Los Angeles Times “[A] meaty analysis of the rise of Jihadism . . . dispels common misconceptions of the War on Terror age.”—San Jose Mercury News “It is Aslan’s great gift to see things clearly, and to say them clearly, and in this important new work he offers us a way forward. He is prescriptive and passionate, and his book will make you think.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion

No god but God (Updated Edition)

release date: Aug 30, 2011
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No god but God (Updated Edition)
A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith. Praise for No god but God “Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times “[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review “Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review “Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.) “Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian

No God But God

release date: Aug 14, 2012
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No God But God
Examines the rituals and traditions of Islam, and discusses the revelation of Muhammad as Prophet and the subsequent uprising against him and the emergence of his successors.

Zealot

release date: Dec 20, 2013
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Zealot
With InstaRead Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries, you can get the essence of a book in 30 minutes or less. We read every chapter and summarize it in one or two paragraphs so you can get the information contained in the book at a faster rate. This is an InstaRead Summary of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. Below is a preview of the earlier sections of the summary: Author's Note Aslan found Jesus during an evangelical youth camp in his sophomore year. He was told the story of Jesus being born as a mortal and innocent man who later became the Christ. Jesus challenged the Jews and they crucified him. His sacrifice and resurrection saved us. An exile of the Iranian revolution, Aslan's family was no longer religious because Islam was to them a symbol of everything they had lost. Aslan didn't feel much like a Muslim anyway, being in America. But Jesus was America, and it made his conversion easier. Jesus became his best friend. As he started to share his faith, he began to notice the large distance between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Jesus of history. This intensified when he started to study history of religions in College and realized that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions. This gave him a more critical distance to study the Bible, making him see the real Jesus with clarity. Aslan wrote this book to spread the good news of Jesus of Nazareth, the man – not Jesus the Christ. His arguments are based on two decades of exhaustive research, and he provides any contrary arguments from other sources in notes at the end of the book. He relies mostly on the gospel of Mark and material unique to Matthew and Luke. A.D. is substituted by C.E. (Common Era) and B.C. by B.C.E. (Before Common Era). Introduction At a time when many would-be messiahs wandered Roman land, Jesus of Nazareth was mocked by Romans for what they considered apocalyptic rambling and delusions. The Gospels, most likely authored by anonymous writers who never knew Jesus, shed very little light on his life. Rather, they focus on his divine figure. Jesus was a Jew who led a Jewish movement in Palestine, and Rome crucified him for the crime of sedition. Combining these historical facts with reliable historical records sheds a clearer light on his life than do the Gospels: Jesus was not a gentle shepherd but rather a zealous revolutionary. The Gospels were written after dark times in Rome. Jewish rebellions led to bloodbath and the exile of Jews from Jerusalem. To portray a messiah that Romans would accept, Christians reinterpreted the figure of Jesus: from a revolutionary Jewish nationalist to a peaceful spiritual leader. This book reclaims the historical, pre-Christianity Jesus by placing him within the correct social, religious and political context of his era. The Jesus that emerges will be much different from what Christianity has portrayed.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

release date: Jul 16, 2013
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How to Win a Cosmic War

release date: Mar 01, 2011
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How to Win a Cosmic War
*Why do they hate us? An entire cottage industry has arisen to answer this question. But what no one has really figured out is, who exactly are they? Is it al-Qaeda? Islamic nationalists? The whole Muslim world? *HOW TO WIN A COSMIC WAR lays out, for the first time, a comprehensive definition of the movement behind and surrounding al-Qaeda and the like, a global ideology properly termed Jihadism. *Contrasting twenty-first-century religious extremism across Christianity, Judaism and Islam with its historical antecedents, Aslan demonstrates that while modern Jihadis may have legitimate social grievances - the suffering of the Palestinians, American support for Arab dictators, the presence of foreign troops in Muslim lands, to name a few - they have no real goals or actual agenda. *So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan's answer is: Nothing. The Jihadists have no earthly agenda; they are fighting a metaphysical conflict, a theological war. And ever since 9/11, we have unfortunately been fighting the same cosmic war, the war they want: the so-called 'War on Terror'. *How do we win a Cosmic War? By refusing to fight in one. And in this stunning new work, Aslan reveals surprising conclusions about how we can deal with this predicament.

Trust Me, I'm an Expert

release date: Sep 17, 2010
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Global Jihadism

release date: Apr 01, 2010
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Global Jihadism
This study examines the phenomenon of Global Jihadism through the lens of modern social movement theory. Through an in-depth analysis of its history, beliefs, and practices, the book argues that Jihadism has taken on many of the same characteristics as other social movements of the 20th century, most notably the civil rights movement, the radical environmental movement, the feminist movement, the black power movement, and the anti-globalization movement, all of which are replete with individuals who exist on the radical fringes of the political spectrum and all of which bring together a wide array of political views, ethnic backgrounds, socio- economic statuses, and ideological causes under a master frame in which grievances are identified, blame assigned, solutions suggested, and participants mobilized. By treating Global Jihadism as a social movement and noting the parallels between it and similar movements the book argues that we can more effectively confront the security challenges posed by this little understood but much- feared ideology.
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