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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-selling 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. 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.

©2017 Reza Aslan (P)2017 Random House Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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His best work yet

absolutely loved it! Reza just keeps getting better with each book this one is absolutely worth reading.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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thought provoking human history of God. weaves fascinating history with spiritually into an interesting perspective for anyone, no matter beliefs.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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God: a human history

One of the best books I have read explaining the history of God through the history of experiences of man; the changes, the different cultures. I was searching to understand God in religions but this book helped me understand more and make sense of it all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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God is dog spelled backwards...

Another excellent book from Reza Aslan. Scholarly, detailed and well researched. He does well at giving voice to philosophical thoughts in an easy calming and natural manner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • United States
  • 11-20-17

Fascinating and informative

I've always enjoyed Reza Aslan books. This one takes the reader back to when "humans" created God.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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written by a believer which transcents

struggled to finish because the argumentation and train of thought is led from a believing point of view. And often some of the conclusions aren't proven but merely presented.

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  • AP
  • 01-16-18

Highly recommended

Aslan is an essential voice in today's world. He may not be a cutting edge researcher but his knowledge of the field is both and broad. Moreover, his ability to lucidly and artfully introduce important academic theories and discoveries to a popular audience is quite unparalleled. He is a masterful storyteller and the resulting narrative is simultaneously a succinct summary of today's best scholarship on the history of religious thought and a description of Reza's own spiritual journey. I might quibble with a detail here or an oversimplification there - but all in all, it is an excellent book on the All in All.

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Did I lose my faith in Reza Aslan with God?

What made the experience of listening to God the most enjoyable?

The author of the book Reza Aslan actually narrated it, I enjoyed that aspect quite a bit. The book is well written and investigated, if you like history and religion you'll like this book.

What other book might you compare God to and why?

I would compare it to Zealot life and time of Jesus...,because even though I liked that book it had some issues that he has fixed in this book.

Have you listened to any of Reza Aslan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

nopethis is the first time.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Origins of the Force jajajaja, you are going to have to read the book to know what I'm talking about.

Any additional comments?

The book is pretty good a 8 out of 10, but it does has issues and stuff that I'm not on the same page with the authors ideas, some debatable stuff that I need to investigate with other investigators, and he does omit some stuff to maintain a narritive. But he does a great job answering the question that he establishes in the introduction about the origins of the concept of God/s and it evolution.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lorette
  • Las Vegas Nevada
  • 12-24-17

Good read.

Very interesting.. always thought God was a man made concept.. can’t prove if it exists or not. One must have faith .

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Last chapter first

This was a complex story of civilization and religion. I think it would have been less boring with a professional reader rather than the author. It all came together in the last chapter which should have been the second chapter.
It did not change my mind about God but it did provide many interesting facts about the history of religion.
Be prepared to be bored in several chapters.