Not only did Reza Aslan read the audiobook version, but the writing is very much in his voice. Although the book is a serious examination of the histoNot only did Reza Aslan read the audiobook version, but the writing is very much in his voice. Although the book is a serious examination of the history of Jesus, Judaism and Jerusalem of the 1st century, and very early Christianity, with sources cited and author's notes, it written in a colloquial style meant for non-academics.
Having been raised a Christian, I felt that I had a decent background in the basic tenets of Christianity before this, although my reading of the Bible was far too long ago to rely upon. But Aslan doesn't require familiarity with either Judaism or Christianity, explaining both as needed.
The story Aslan tells is very interesting and one that I had not considered at all before. As readers of my other reviews of history and historical fiction may have noticed, my appreciation for history increases year after year as I gain more appreciation for how future historians may interpret our current times of politics, culture, and war. This book doesn't fail to enhance both history and current events for me....more
Interesting viewpoint, but really a depressing outlook for the future.
Update 1/2/15: I'm finding now that I frequently think back to what I learned frInteresting viewpoint, but really a depressing outlook for the future.
Update 1/2/15: I'm finding now that I frequently think back to what I learned from this book, and any book that does that deserves a higher rating from me. What I think back upon mostly is the history of Islam as a religion -- how the life and philosophy of Mohammed evolved into the written canon -- and the tight intertwining of Islam as both religion and political system. Both of these aspects have given me a very new perspective on recent and modern history involving the west's interactions with the middle east.
I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to understand Islam better. I particularly recommend it as a good explanation of the Islamic canon of scripture, which is so much more than The Koran, and which gives a much more nuanced explanation of what "fundamentalism" might be (vs. what we think we know of it from the gleanings you get from pundits and news reports)....more