God: A Human History

God: A Human History Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.
 
In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.
 
In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.”
 
But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.
 
More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

Praise for God
 
“Breathtaking in its scope and controversial in its claims, God: A Human History shows how humans from time immemorial have made God in their own image, and argues that they should now stop. Writing with all the verve and brilliance we have come to expect from his pen, Reza Aslan has once more produced a book that will prompt reflection and shatter assumptions.”—Bart D. Ehrman, author of How Jesus Became God
 
“Reza Aslan offers so much to relish in his excellent ‘human history’ of God. In tracing the commonalities that unite religions, Aslan makes truly challenging arguments that believers in many traditions will want to mull over, and to explore further. This rewarding book is very ambitious in its scope, and it is thoroughly grounded in an impressive body of reading and research.”—Philip Jenkins, author of Crucible of Faith

Title:God: A Human History

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Fiona

    In July, I read a book called Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion by E. Fuller Torrey. It presents the evolutionary theory of the creation of gods by examining the...

  • Rebecca Foster

    Although comparable in scope to Karen Armstrong’s A History of God, this is more of an anthropological and sociological approach to how religion arose. We created God in our image, Aslan argues. Usi...

  • Anton

    5 ⭐ stuff. Many thanks to NetGalley, publisher and author for sharing the ARC. Honestly, my experience with ARCs so far was very disappointing. Also, I haven't encountered Reza Aslan before. So my e...

  • Mehrsa

    This book is well written and fascinating. As an Iranian, I especially love that he includes the vital history of God and religion that began in Iran. The content however is very similar to Robert Wri...

  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for an advanced copy! All opinions here are my own and are not influenced by them.Admittedly, I do love Reza...

  • Krista

    I am, in my essential reality, God made manifest. We all are. So then, worship God not through fear and trembling but through awe and wonder at the workings of the universe – for the universe is Go...

  • Kent Winward

    Not bad for looking at theories on how humanity creates its gods. I was interested to note that as Aslan comes out as a pantheist at the end his extreme pantheism isn't all that different from atheism...

  • Roger DeBlanck

    Each of Reza Aslan’s previous books made a lasting impression on me. God: A Human History is no different. It is an empowering study that relies on impeccable scholarship and yet reads with the lyri...

  • Marilynn Spiegel

    The author begins with an illogical premise and spirals downward from there. His original premise ignores the three basic Laws of Thought: the law of identity, the law of excluded middle and the law o...

  • Kristy K

    "What is God? That question has been st the center of the human quest to make sense of the divine from the very beginning."This was a lot shorter than I expected, the actual content taking up only abo...