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Book Review: “God: A Human History” by Reza Aslan

If you have been to see me for a reading recently, or if you follow me on social media, you have likely already heard me rave about this book. In fact, reading this piece of literature was so impactful for me that I had to email the author and tell him how grateful I am for his existence. (Considering he's a big, famous, best-selling author and scholar, I don't know if he ever saw that email amongst the thousands he gets. But I sure hope he did!)


God: A Human History is an intricate timeline of human religion from the perspective of Reza Aslan, a writer and religious scholar who was raised Muslim, converted to Christianity in adulthood, and later to Sufism (a form of pantheism and contemplative science that comes out of Islam.) Though, to say the book is from Reza's perspective is not to say it is biased or ill-informed. In fact, the bibliography is 20 pages long, followed by nearly 80 pages of notes!


When I really started diving into my deconstruction journey, one of the most important questions for me was, "what did humans believe before people started telling us what to believe?"


I started researching. But believe me when I tell you that it's a lot to sift through. And, if you don't personally speak/read any ancient languages, all you can do is hope the person you're listening to knows their stuff. (Always check your sources!)


This book saved me countless hours of digging, reading, and speculating by giving me almost all of the information I was looking for in one, neat little package. Aslan offers examples of our oldest dated archeological artifacts, psychological and neuroscientific factors, political and agricultural factors, and more to give a thorough overview of the various possibilities for why humans are the way they are, and how we ended up here.


The conclusion, which is where Aslan begins to offer his personal opinions, rather than various viewpoints and evidence, is nothing short of inspiring. I would be lying if I said I didn't weep at the profound mixture of emotions that I felt reading it. Not only at the conclusion that he reached in and of itself, but because I had these feelings and conclusions as well. His willingness to be vulnerable and bear his soul made me feel a little less alone, and a little more like I might be on to something.


Overall, a million stars out of 10. Go get you a copy of this book!



You can learn more about Reza Aslan and what he's doing now at RezaAslan.com

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