Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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

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