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A Human History
Ranking8722inReligion
BookHardcover
320 pages
English
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Cover TextNEW 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
Additional text"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
"[Reza 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
"Extraordinary . . . clear, concise [and] lively."-The Spectator
"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
Details
ISBN/GTIN978-0-553-39472-6
Product TypeBook
BindingHardcover
Publishing year2017
Publishing date15/11/2017
Pages320 pages
LanguageEnglish
Article no.31906537
Rubrics

Content/Review

Sample TextChapter One
Adam and Eve in Eden
In the beginning was the void. Darkness. Chaos. A vast sea of emptiness without shape or substance. No sky, no earth, no waters parted. No gods made manifest nor names pronounced. No fates decreed until . . . a flash, some light, and a sudden expansion of space and time, of energy and matter, of atoms and molecules-the building blocks of a hundred billion galaxies,
...more

Author

Reza Aslan is an acclaimed writer and scholar of religions whose books include No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism), as well as the editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.