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. Read more...
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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 "Breathtaking in its scope and controversial in its claims, God: A Human History shows how humans from time immemorial have made God in their own image, and argues that they should now stop. Writing with all the verve and brilliance we have come to expect from his pen, Reza Aslan has once more produced a book that will prompt reflection and shatter assumptions."--Bart D. Ehrman, author of How Jesus Became God "Reza Aslan offers so much to relish in his excellent 'human history' of God. In tracing the commonalities that unite religions, Aslan makes truly challenging arguments that believers in many traditions will want to mull over, and to explore further. This rewarding book is very ambitious in its scope, and it is thoroughly grounded in an impressive body of reading and research."--Philip Jenkins, author of Crucible of Faith
- ISBN-13: 9780525524649
- ISBN-10: 0525524649
- Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
- Publish Date: November 2017
- Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.37 pounds
Audio: The ex factor
Addictive domestic thrillers with twist-filled plots and unreliable narrators are increasingly popular. Add in assumptions that should not be assumed, shape-shifting, surprising characters and a complex chronology, and you have a hint of what you’ll find in The Wife Between Us. Written by duo Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and set in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, the story at first seems to involve a classic love triangle. We have Vanessa, the first wife, who appears to be stalking Nellie, a lovely, young, unsophisticated preschool teacher. Nellie has fallen head over heels in love with Vanessa’s ex-husband, 30-something Richard—a handsome, super-successful hedge fund manager. Is Richard really the quintessential Prince Charming of every girl’s dreams? Has the divorce unhinged Vanessa and driven her to look for revenge? Or might Vanessa be trying to save Nellie from falling into Richard’s not-so-princelike clutches? All will be made clear, or perhaps not, as you listen to Julia Whelan’s tautly paced performance.
ANALYZING GOD’S HUMANITY
The very title of Reza Aslan’s latest book, God: A Human History (Random House Audio, 5.5 hours), lets you know that it takes on the challenge of a serious and academic subject loaded with emotional minefields. Aslan has made the study of religion his life’s work. Though his scholarship is thorough and wide-ranging—covering anthropology, philosophy, cognitive theory, biblical studies and more—he writes and narrates his work with verve and personal commitment that make his ideas accessible and compelling. Going back to prehistory, Aslan looks at the earliest depictions of a deity and follows the evolution of religion. He presents a fascinating explanation for why we humans have fashioned God in our own image. In fact, he thinks this “compulsion” is hardwired in our brains. Aslan does not attempt to prove the existence or nonexistence of God, but he does believe that foisting the human condition on the divine brings consequences that keep us from “a more mature, more peaceful, more primal form of spirituality.” It’s guaranteed to make you think.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Spy novel aficionados are likely familiar with the CIA, MI6, Soviet and post-Soviet spies, and other parts of the worldwide intelligence community. But what do we know about the inner workings of China’s espionage establishment? Listen to David Ignatius’ The Quantum Spy, deftly narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, and you’ll get a good handle on it as the action moves from D.C. and Seattle to Singapore and Beijing. Moreover, you’ll be clued into the United States and China’s ongoing race to be the first to build an incomprehensibly fast and powerful quantum computer. Ignatius’ engaging thriller follows the CIA’s efforts to catch a longtime mole while also trying to ward off Chinese attempts to steal American cyber secrets and foil a plan to turn an Iraq War-hardened, Chinese-American veteran into a double agent. Ignatius cleverly reveals the clandestine world of the CIA and offers insight into current political realities in the world’s most populous nation.