“I have been studying the life and time of Jesus of Nazareth for much of the last twenty years,” Aslan writes in this book excerpt, “in an attempt to uncover, as much as possible, the Jesus of history, the Jesus before Christianity.” Several publications have praised Aslan's meticulous and thoroughly researched account of perhaps one of the world's most influential historical figures. Salon, for example, calls Zealot “a vivid, persuasive portrait of the world and societies in which Jesus lived and the role he most likely played in both.” They go on to say it is a “fascinating…portrait of the political and social climate of Jesus’ day,” strengthened by Aslan's “literary talent [and his] scholarly and journalistic chops.”
In Zealot and his other bestsellers (such as No god but God) Aslan applies the expertise he acquired through the completion of three degrees in Religion. In Zealot, in particular, he explores the intersection of culture and religion and how we can gain new insight on this famous figure through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Whether in his writing, his lectures, or his media appearances, Aslan seeks to eliminate misconception and uncover truth. He shows us that examining the cultural, social, and political forces that influence us all can help us to move toward a more holistic view of the world (past and present) and a peaceful understanding of each other.