Fox News, Reza Aslan, and the Historical Jesus


| 7/29/2013 3:14:01 PM


Tags: Fox News, Religion,
reza aslan


Reza Aslan is an internationally-respected religious scholar. He earned a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School as well as a Ph.D in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He's written extensively on a variety of religious topics from an academic perspective. Ask Lauren Green of Fox News, though, and she'll say those credentials hardly qualify Aslan to write about about the historical Jesus simply because of one reason—he's a Muslim. 

Green said as much when she recently interviewed Aslan on the FoxNews.com online show "Spirited Debate" (video below). Aslan was there to talk about his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, but spent most of the 10-minute interview trying to explain just how ridiculous it is to focus on the fact that he also happens to be a Muslim. As Aslan later said in a radio interview that Tom Kludt posted on Talking Points Memo, "It's weird to all of a sudden talk about it as though only practitioners of a faith can write about the prophets of that faith," he said. "If that were true, there would be a lot fewer Islam books out there."

The Fox News interview is followed by the author's note from Zealot, in which Aslan talks about his personal faith and fascination with Jesus.



 

Reza Aslan's author's note from Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth:

When I was fifteen years old, I found Jesus.

I spent the summer of my sophomore year at an evangelical youth camp in Northern California, a place of timbered fields and boundless blue skies, where, given enough time and stillness and soft-spoken encouragement, one could not help but hear the voice of God. Amidst the man-made lakes and majestic pines my friends and I sang songs, played games, and swapped secrets, rollicking in our freedom from the pressures of home and school. In the evenings, we gathered in a fire-lit assembly hall at the center of the camp. It was there that I heard a remarkable story that would change my life forever.

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ralph ellis
8/4/2013 3:31:16 PM

Mr Aslan's book is actually very tame, considering the spectrum of opinions on New Testament historicity. Perhaps Aslan, being a Muslim, thinks he is being provocative because he would never dare to say the same about Muhummad, but most of his observations are actually mainstream or banal. If you want a really provocative account of the discovery of the real historical Jesus, you should read 'Jesus, the King of Edessa'.