Baker Academic

Friday, August 2, 2013

Prothero on Zealot

Stephen Prothero reviews Zealot. Well worth a read.



  1. Notable that, writing for the Washington Post, not Fox, Prothero identifies Aslan as Muslim right up front and then describes the point of the book within that religious frame, i.e., that Aslan attempts to manufacture a portrait of Jesus as a failed Muhammed. (And somehow also a Jesus for post 9/11 America who fights back.) Prothero also set his sights on the creative writing credential, big time.

  2. The first, critical part is sharp, but I balked a bit at the Jesus/Muhammad parallel in the second half. Is the implication then that Aslan is a Muslim because he was attracted to a successful "zealot"? While followers of Jesus are given a defeated, but morally superior, pacifist as a symbol of America itself?


    1. I think the point is that Aslan writes from within and to a fairly liberal context, where his portrait of Muhammad is held a long way from violence and jihad. Muhammad, for Aslan, is a peaceful and successful statesman, leader prophet, but not a warrior and not a jihadi. However, Jesus is being presented as violent, jihadi style operator. For the liberal reader, who is the most attractive?

  3. Dale Martin's review: