Who was the Jewish peasant who, two thousand years ago, walked across what is now Palestine to gather followers with the goal of establishing the Kingdom of God? 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: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time and the birth of a religion.
Dr 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 a Guardian First Book Award finalist, and an international bestseller. It was named by Blackwell 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.
Contents: Author's Note Introduction Part I Prologue: A Different Sort of Sacrifice Chapter One: A Hole in the Corner Chapter Two: King of the Jews Chapter Three: You Know Where I Am From Chapter Four: The Fourth Philosophy Chapter Five: Where Is Your Fleet to Sweep the Roman Seas? Chapter Six: Year One Part II Prologue: Zeal for Your House Chapter Seven: The Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness Chapter Eight: Follow Me Chapter Nine: By the Finger of God Chapter Ten: May Your Kingdom Come Chapter Eleven: Who Do You Say I Am? Chapter Twelve: No King but Caesar Part III Prologue: God Made Flesh Chapter Thirteen: If Christ Has Not Been Risen Chapter Fourteen: Am I Not an Apostle? Chapter Fifteen: The Just One Epilogue: True God from True God Notes Bibliography