From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher from Galilee launched a revolutionary movement proclaiming the 'Kingdom of God', and threatened the established order of first-century Palestine. Defying both Imperial Rome and its collaborators in the Jewish religious hierarchy, he was captured, tortured and executed as a state criminal. Within decades, his followers would call him the Son of God. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic figures by examining Jesus within the context of the times in which he lived: the age of zealotry, an era awash in apocalyptic fervour, when scores of Jewish prophets and would-be messiahs wandered the Holy Land bearing messages from God. They also espoused a fervent nationalism that made resistance to Roman occupation a sacred duty. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against historical sources, ?Aslan describes a complex figure: a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity secret; and the seditious 'King of the Jews', whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his lifetime. Aslan explores why the early Church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary, and grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself. Zealot provides a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel, and a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time and the birth of a religion.
Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. His first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award finalist and is an international bestseller. It was named by Blackwell's as one of the hundred most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the End of the War on Terror. Aslan is currently associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. Author location: Los Angeles, USA
'A bold, powerfully argued re-visioning of the most consequential life ever lived.' Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize - winning author of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief 'Reza Aslan writes vividly and insightfully about the life and meaning of the figure who has come to be seen by billions as the Christ of faith. This is a special and revealing work, one that believer and skeptic alike will find surprising, engaging and original.' Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize - winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power 'Compulsively readable - this superb work is highly recommended' Publishers Weekly 'Aslan brings a fine popular style, shorn of all jargon, to bear on the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth ... He isn't interested in attacking religion or even the church, much less in comparing Christianity unfavorably to another religion...[Y]ou don't have to lose your religion to learn much that's vitally germane to its history from Aslan's absorbing, reader-friendly book.' Booklist (starred review) 'A well-researched, readable biography of Jesus of Nazareth' Kirkus 'A vivid, persuasive portrait of the world and societies in which Jesus lived and the role he most likely played in both ' Salon