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9+ teosta 6,137 jäsentä 202 arvostelua 4 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Born in Iran, Dr. Reza Aslan is a writer and scholar of religion. He is also President and CEO of Aslan Media Inc. Dr. Aslan has degrees in Religions from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a Master of Fine Arts from the näytä lisää University of Iowa. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. Dr. Aslan also serves on the national advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center, building bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world. Aslan's first book, the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (Heinemann 2005), has been translated into thirteen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the editor of the anthology Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East: A Words Without Borders Anthology (WW Norton 2010). His latest work is entitled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House 2013). Dr. Aslan lives in Los Angeles where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Sisältää nimet: Reza Aslan -, Dr. Reza Aslan

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Zealot, Christianity (helmikuu 2014)
Warning on "Zealot" by Reza Aslan, Theology Book Club (joulukuu 2013)


In this rather short book Reza Aslan takes us through the history lane to show how did religion exactly become so important to human species.

As this is rather short book note it is useful as starting point for further readings and exploration on the topic. If you seek more detailed answers in it you might be disappointed.

Author starts with the overview of the first societies where religion took hold (which seems to be very early societies like gatherer-hunters), then moves to the way human beings generally reflect human-like attributes on everything around them - thus giving birth to first super-being and myths (I especially liked explanation how minimal exaggerations can make strange phenomena closer to the human observer, psychology is truly marvelous and practical science) - followed by rise of various pantheons and finally culminating in monotheism from Echnaton's and Zaratustra's attempts to Israelites' first successful monotheistic state religion that was followed by Christians and Muslims.

We can follow the religion develop from rather inclusive traditions to more and more closed/exclusive ones (as I read once in other book, old civilizations could recognize their gods in other pantheons - monotheism or simpler form known as monolatry become more and more exclusive because of their very nature; these are religions made to distinguish people, nations and states and as a result we come to division of society on believers and unbelievers).

Author asks good questions regarding the usefulness of religion for species evolution. As such religion has no merit but when coupled with other sociological changes - e.g. move to stationary way of life, creation of citizen classes and separation of populace on ordinary people and those privileged that can speak to gods (priests and kings) - it becomes more clear how religion rose and became dominant force in human history.

But to say that religion's sole role is to shackle people is also wrong. Like any force in human history it can be misused. And lets not fool ourselves, human's need to believe - be it in religion of any kind or in science - seems to be a fundamental one. It seems we are incapable of dealing with unknowns. We need to fill them either with facts or myths/free interpretations no matter how implausible they might be - future generations will have to work them out.

Book raises interesting questions and is great as a starting point for further research. It is truly excellent popular science book, author writes in a clear and concise way and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Zare | 23 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 23, 2024 |
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autumndragyn | 133 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 23, 2023 |
A very interesting, surprisingly fast read, Aslan presents an incredibly concise yet readable synthesis of his original research. My knowledge of this period in history was deepened and extended, a few misconceptions picked up in high school and that had crept in from common culture were corrected, which is no small matter to be grateful for. It was fascinating to learn about the historical Jesus through what is known about how the people of Nazareth lived at the time and the complex political relationship between Rome and the tolerated, multi-faceted and conflicted Jewish society in the surrounding area.

I struggled over whether or not to give this book a 3 or a 4, just because I got a bit confused with some time frames and background context until the second part of the book. But, the illuminating juxtaposition of biblical passages and historical facts about society at that time bumped it up for me.
… (lisätietoja)
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lschiff | 133 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 24, 2023 |
In this book, the author explains Islam in all its beauty and complexity. Beginning with a vivid account of the social and religious milieu in which the Prophet Muhammad forged his message, the author paints a portrait of the first Muslim community as a radical experiment in religious pluralism and social egalitarianism. He demonstrates how, after the Prophet's death, his successors attempted to interpret his message for future generations – an overwhelming task that fractured the Muslim community into competing sects. Finally, he examines how, in the shadow of European colonialism, Muslims developed conflicting strategies to reconcile traditional Islamic values with the realities of the modern world, thus launching what he terms the Islamic Reformation.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
PendleHillLibrary | 34 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 21, 2023 |



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