The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine, and sounds a call to embrace a deeper, more expansive understanding of God.
In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the 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 one long and 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 if we are 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, unencumbered by the urge to impose human characteristics upon the divine.
Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will transform the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.