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9+ Works 6,249 Membros 204 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

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 mostrar mais 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) mostrar menos

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Zealot em Christianity (Fevereiro 2014)
Warning on "Zealot" by Reza Aslan em Theology Book Club (Dezembro 2013)

Resenhas

Probably a fairly accurate description of how Christianity got started. Didn't really do much for me one way or the other.
 
Marcado
Abcdarian | outras 134 resenhas | May 18, 2024 |
Howard Baskerville is an obscure figure today, but for a brief period at the very beginning of the 20th century he was the subject of global newspaper headlines. A recent college graduate who'd studied under future U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, Baskerville became a Christian missionary in what is now Iran. After a while he gets caught up in the constitutionalist movement then sweeping the country, ends up taking up arms and renouncing his American citizenship, and is shot and killed during the siege of Tabriz. In death, he becomes even more a figurehead for those advocating for reform, though after the Iranian revolution of the 70s, Baskerville's prominence declines thanks to his awkward American origin.

Reza Aslan clearly admires Baskerville, or certainly admires what he thinks Baskerville represents: a kind of general, humane pursuit of freedom and peace that transcends personal and group differences. He also is drawn to Baskerville's ability to link two countries for which Aslan clearly has great affection. But one major reservation I had with this book is that Aslan's framing of Baskerville and his behaviour seems to be, if not entirely cynical, then certainly almost wilfully selective. Aslan seems to not want to really grapple with the implications of the fact that, as he himself acknowledges, Baskerville acts not in spite of or in transcendence of his goals as an evangelical Christian missionary, but to fulfil them. I didn't find myself admiring Baskerville the way that Aslan did—I thought he was a fairly naive guy who, if asked, probably thought Manifest Destiny was a great thing to pursue.

What, in other words, did Baskerville think he was being martyred for? (If indeed that's the term we should use.)

Not that we can know what Baskerville thought on that topic since he left almost no written accounts behind him and much of his life is poorly documented—even when it comes to the great transatlantic voyage which took Baskerville from the U.S. to Europe and on to Tabriz, Aslan can only make a best guess as to which ports he arrived at.

By the end of the book I found myself thinking that Baskerville could have—should have—been confined to a single chapter. But then, would Aslan have been able to appeal to and to flatter American sensibilities so readily? (Because this not a book intended for any other audience, I don't think.)
… (mais)
½
 
Marcado
siriaeve | Mar 7, 2024 |
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.
… (mais)
 
Marcado
Zare | outras 23 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
9
Also by
4
Membros
6,249
Popularidade
#3,923
Avaliação
3.9
Resenhas
204
ISBNs
117
Idiomas
20
Favorito
4

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