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Let's discuss Zealot; The Life and Times of Jesus Christ by Reza Aslan

  • Dec 2, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • Flyleaf Books

Aslan's biography seeks the "historical" Jesus and locates him in the context of a revolutionary from a Palestinian backwater fighting to liberate his people from Roman occupation. Aslan, a Muslim, notes that in this first century time and place there were many would-be messiahs proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of God when all non-Jews would be removed from the Holy Land. Most of these pretenders were crucified for sedition. Aslan credits Paul as the one who declares Jesus to be the savior of everyone (not just the Jews). As the Jesus movement spread, Aslan asserts Jesus, the vengeful radical, was transformed to the peaceful Christ.
This book is currently the number 1 bestseller on the New York Times Non-Fiction list. It has elicited a storm of both positive and negative reviews. Come and share your own opinions in our discussion of this book.

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  • Evelyn D.

    Excellent -- great insights from May-Britt, Erin, Laurence, Kate, Rich (of course), and others.

    December 4, 2013

  • Hank B.

    The Jewish Review article cited below was a devastating critique of the Aslan book. I'm sorry I hadn't read it before attending tonight's discussion. I also wish that there wasn't more discussion of this reviewer's criticism of Aslan's overall scholarship, his view of Jesus as a violent revolutionary, and his understanding of certain aspects of Jewish history and culture of the time. Still, I enjoyed listening (and occasionally contributing) to the discussion tonight, and it motivated me to complete my reading of the book. Cheers to all of you!

    December 2, 2013

    • Hank B.

      misprint: "wish that there WAS more discussion of...."

      December 2, 2013

  • Kate C.

    It was wonderful to have a larger group tonight and some knowledgeable theologians who could help with context, as well as many with thoughtful opinions. The book was a great choice!

    December 2, 2013

  • Dick C.

    Very good, timely selection. I really appreciated the link to the critical article that was circulated beforehand.

    December 2, 2013

  • Rich

    Folks coming to discuss the Zealot and who have a bit of free time today or tomorrow might be interested to check out at least the first part of a review in The Jewish Review of Books at That review also has a link to the Fox news broadcast that helped make The Zealot a best-seller...

    December 1, 2013

    • Janna

      Thanks, Rich. Watched FOX interview and read the review you supplied. Clearly we need to read multiple histories from various views and still the mystery will exist. Wish Aslan had been more clear about his background since it would not have detracted from his book. As far as religion goes, guess that's why they call it ''faith''­!

      December 2, 2013

    • Janna

      BTW, that gal on FOX just sounded silly. She should have studied up to question him.

      December 2, 2013

  • Jennifer

    Time just got away from me and didn't have a chance to finish the book. Will catch the next.

    November 30, 2013

  • Rich

    Librarians such as Evelyn and Janna ( other folks too ) might enjoy reading or listening to the role of on libraries ( and also librarians ) on stage and screen. It is at

    Bob Mondello even quotes Keith Richards on libraries so it has *got to be* authoritative....

    1 · November 29, 2013

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