Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Asheville GreenWorks to host second annual Root Ball - Sept. 18th

Join Asheville GreenWorks as they host the second annual “Root Ball”, in support of community beautification and education programs. The Root Ball is Thursday, September 18th, 2014, from 6:30-10:00pm on the French Broad at the Boathouse next to  Asheville GreenWorks offices, located at 318 Riverside Drive.

The Root Ball is a nod to GreenWorks’ passion for getting dirty for a great cause; sundress with comfortable shoes is encouraged but not required.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Entry includes unlimited food and drink. Live music will be performed by Lyric. In addition, there will be a raffle to help support Asheville Greenworks programs.

For more information, please call Christine at 254-1776. 

The following sponsors make this event possible: Asheville Savings Bank, Aloft Hotel, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, The Biltmore Company, Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada.

Malaprop's invites the public to hear bestselling author Reza Aslan - Sept. 14th

Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe invites the public to a question and answer session, booksigning and reading by bestselling author Reza Aslan on September 14th, at 3:00 p.m. Aslan is the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, named one of the best books of the year by Good Housekeeping, Booklist,  •Publishers Weekly, and• Bookish.

“"Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account." ”—The New Yorker

"“A lucid, intelligent page-turner.”" —Los Angeles Times

"“Aslan’'s insistence on human and historical actuality turns out to be far more interesting than dogmatic theology, and certainly more intriguing and exciting for any modern reader… This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”" —San Francisco Chronicle

"“Drawing on a well-established body of scholarship, Aslan paints a vivid, accessible portrait of Jesus as a Jewish nationalist, “a zealous revolutionary swept up, as all Jews of the era were, in the religious and political turmoil of first-century Palestine."” —The Tablet

“"[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth as are his scholarly and journalistic chops… a vivid, persuasive portrait of the world and societies in which Jesus lived and the role he most likely played in both.… Fascinating."” —Salon.com

"“Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image… Aslan is steeped in the history, languages and scriptural foundation of the biblical scholar and is a very clear writer with an authoritative, but not pedantic, voice. Those of us who wade into this genre often know how rare that is.  —The Seattle Times

"“Aslan brings a fine popular style, shorn of all jargon, to bear on the presentation of Jesus of Nazareth… [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)

“"Aslan …offers a compelling argument for a fresh look at the Nazarene, focusing on how Jesus the man evolved into Jesus the Christ…. Compulsively readable and written at a popular level, this superb work is highly recommended."” —Publisher’s Weekly (Starred



The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

By Reza Aslan

A Random House Trade Paperback · On Sale: September 9, 2014

Scholar of religions Reza Aslan’s provocative and meticulously researched biography ZEALOT (Random House Trade Paperback, On Sale September 9, 2014) landed on the New York Times bestseller list soon after its release in hardcover, then becamepart of a national dialogue after a controversial interview on FoxNews.com went viral and propelled it to the top of the bestseller list. The film rights have since been acquired by Lionsgate and will be produced by David Heyman (Harry Potter and Gravity), and written by James Schamus (Brokeback Mountain). Now available in paperback, this #1 New York Times bestseller continues to challenge the long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

In Zealot, Aslan sifts through centuries of mythmaking and sheds new light on one of history’s most enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews.

Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction: a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.

Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel.

About the Author:

Dr. Reza Aslan is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He was previously Wallerstein distinguished visiting professor of religion, conflict, and community at Drew University, where he taught from 2012 to 2013, and assistant visiting professor of religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught from 2000 to 2003. He serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary and sits on a numerous foreign policy councils.  

Dr. Aslan holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a minor in biblical Greek from Santa Clara University (1992-1995). He has a master of theological studies at the Divinity School from Harvard University (1997-1999), and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. (UCSB’s doctoral program is an interdisciplinary one that draws from religion, history, philosophy, and sociology, among other fields. Aslan’s doctorate in sociology encompasses expertise in the history of religion.) He also has a master of fine arts in fiction degree from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman capote Fellow in Fiction. Dr. Aslan's first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, was an international bestseller. In addition, he authored How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror. Dr. Aslan has also edited two volumes: Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, Complexities. Dr. Aslan is the founder ofAslanMedia.com, which is a social media site for news and information on the greater Middle East. He has written for numerous publications and is a frequent guest on major news networks. He is the recipient of the Levantine Cultural Center’s East-West Media Award (2012), the Media Bridge-Builder Award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (2013), and in 2014 he became an Intersections a Honoree for his work promoting justice, reconciliation, and peace.

Website: www.rezaaslan.com / Twitter: @RezaAslan

Mars Hill University to host Middle East expert for the University Lecture Series - Sept. 18th

Mars Hill University will host a lecture by Middle East expert and former ambassador Edward W. Gnehm, Jr. on September 18 at 7 pm in Moore Auditorium.

Gnehm's lecture, titled, "The Middle East Cauldron," will touch on the chaos and turmoil in the region and examine how civil war, sectarian brutality, and radical ideologies have undermined legitimate governments and crushed the memories of the Arab Spring.  Possible effects of U.S. policies on the region will also be a point of scrutiny.

The event is part of Mars Hill's University and Performance Series, which began last year.

Gnehm has a long and distinguished career as a former ambassador to Jordan, Australia and Kuwait.  He has also served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel for the Department of State.

Ambassador Gnehm received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 2000. In 2004 Secretary of State Colin Powell awarded Ambassador Gnehm the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award for his work in Jordan. He also received two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards in 1990 for his public service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and in 1991, for his service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. During his career he received a number of other State Department awards, including Superior Honor Awards for his service in Kuwait and Riyadh, in Washington as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and in Taif, Saudi Arabia, as Special Envoy to the Kuwaiti Government, and Meritorious Honor Awards for his work in Damascus and Beirut.

Ambassador Gnehm was elected to the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2005. He holds leadership positions in several organizations including: the American-Kuwaiti Alliance, Chair of the Board of Directors of ANERA (American Near East Refugees Aid), the Senior Living Foundation, the Middle East Policy Council and the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2004, he has been a member of the faculty of the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.  He is the Kuwait Professor of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs and the Director of the Middle East Policy Forum.

Dr. John Wells, executive vice president, said: “Mars Hill University is proud to bring Ambassador Gnehm to campus.  His expertise in affairs specifically related to the politics of the Middle East could not be more timely.   We expect his remarks to lead to healthy conversation and debate on campus.”

The Mars Hill University Lecture and Performance Series brings distinguished and knowledgeable individuals to the university campus to lecture on a wide range of topics which complement the university’s emphasis on the liberal arts.