Reza Aslan’s "Zealot"
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Reza Aslan’s new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, has attracted a lot of attention, especially since an interview with the author on Fox News. Apparently, the interviewer repeatedly asked why Aslan, a Muslim, had written a book about Jesus.
Zealot is a New York Times bestseller and is much in demand in the library system!
Reza Aslan and His Writing
Aslan is a former evangelical Christian who has since become a Muslim. He is also a scholar of Religion with degrees from Santa Clara University and Harvard Divinity School, as well as a writer. He is the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror.
In Zealot, which I have not yet read, Aslan apparently wants to get back to the “real” Jesus, and away from the Jesus that has been painted by followers in the two millennia since His birth. He argues that Jesus was a revolutionary who wanted to gain liberty for the Jewish people in Palestine and to bring about the kingdom of God on earth.
More Reading on “The Quest for the Historical Jesus”
Aslan is not the first to try to find the real Jesus, nor is he the first to provoke controversy in the attempt. Waiting (like me) for a copy of Zealot, which has 170 holds on it as of this writing? Then read one (or all!) of these other books about the “quest for the historical Jesus,” as Albert Schweitzer first termed it:
- Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth by Bart D. Ehrman
- Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary by Marcus J. Borg
- The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine
- The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering who Jesus Was and Is by N.T. Wright
- Gospel Truth: The New Image of Jesus Emerging from Science and History and Why It Matters by Russell Shorto
- The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels by Luke Timothy Johnson
- The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant by John Dominic Crossan
- The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede by Albert Schweitzer (also available in other editions)
Vaughn Harrison was a Religion major. She works at Half Moon Bay Library and on the Bookmobile.