Simply put, Zealot does not break new ground in the history of early Christianity. It isn’t clear that any book framed as a “the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth” could, in fact, do so. Indeed, if it had not been thrust into the limelight by an aggressive marketing plan, the painfully offensive Fox News interview, and Aslan’s own considerable gifts for self-promotion, Zealot would likely have simply been shelved next to myriad other examples of its genre, and everyone could get back to their lives. As it is, the whole spectacle has been painful to watch. And as it is with so many spectacles, perhaps the best advice one might take is this: Nothing to see here, people. Move along.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Elizabeth Castelli Weighs in on Aslan's Zealot
In a Nation piece full of gems, Elizabeth Castelli summarizes many of the critiques Bible scholars have been making of Reza Aslan's new book, Zealot. The final paragraph is worth reproducing: