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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-selling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity's quest to make sense of the divine and sounds a call to embrace a deeper, more expansive understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as one long and remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless if we are believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves."

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature - our compassion, our thirst for justice - but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will transform the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

©2017 Reza Aslan (P)2017 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about God

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Profound

This book was profound for me in many ways. It is deep and thought provoking. I also loved the narration done by Reza Aslan.

2 people found this helpful

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The full circle dance relax into the inhale and exhale

Thank you for the history lessons and for articulating how I have felt throughout my life. I had always felt I had on a confining veil limited by trying to make my heart and mind believe in a system too small limited. I thank you wholeheartedly for your research and your storytelling and this book has been very helpful to allow me to say yes.

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Intriguing Read

I love Reza’s broad knowledge of the history of God and the human race. I can’t wait to dive into his other books but especially Zealot! #Audible1

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Excellent and brief history of the idea of god.

Every once in awhile I come across a book that summarizes what I’ve learned in multiple other places. This is one of those books. It is a history of the idea of god, a history of humanity and a history of monotheism. There was nothing that was new to me here, but I really enjoyed it. This is a great book that I can recommend to people instead of a stack of 10 other books.

Are those other books going to be more in depth? Yeah, sure. That’s fine. This book is brief (5 hour audiobook), but the ideas are concise and clear and well written. I really enjoyed it and will probably listen to it again in a year or two.

The interesting twist was in the last chapter, where he switched from a history of the idea of god, to an appeal to an understanding of god in a pantheistic way. I didn’t mind this chapter. Even though I don’t necessarily buy it, I did appreciate hearing his train of thought and why he is a believer in a pantheistic god.

This audiobook is also narrated by the author, which is something I always appreciate.

#Audible1

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Lord Shiva

some of author quotes from comparing Rig Veda to Lord shiva is not accurate. eg Lord Shiva was lesser diety in the beginning and over the centuries Lord Shiva has become one of the very prominent figure equivalent to Holy Trinity in Hindu religion.

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Eye opener

Very well narrated and deepened my understanding of human history as it pertains to religion

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for those seeking answers

He takes such an intense topic and does such a great job of summarizing it without bias

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  • Jeff M
  • 2017-11-15

His best work yet

absolutely loved it! Reza just keeps getting better with each book this one is absolutely worth reading.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Hampe
  • 2018-06-18

An interesting exploration - even for non-believer

Appreciated the narrative tone chronicling the author's own spiritual journey. Presents a thorough history of the major spiritual traditions without proselytizing.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Spencer
  • 2018-05-23

Eloquent, continually fascinating, compelling.

This book is packed to the brim with evocative and fascinating scholarship surrounding the history of spirituality, religion, and the human connection to the Divine. Reza Aslan is a fountain of knowledge, displaying his eloquence, dexterity, and mastership of the topic, without ever coming across as insensitive or overly cynical. The final chapter, an advocacy for pantheism is compelling and the idea is something this book has convinced me to explore further. I cannot recommend this book to everyone, but to anyone who has doubted or questioned their faith tradition, this is an accessible piece of scholarship to consider.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-01-05

God: a human history

One of the best books I have read explaining the history of God through the history of experiences of man; the changes, the different cultures. I was searching to understand God in religions but this book helped me understand more and make sense of it all.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Klaudia
  • 2017-11-19

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thought provoking human history of God. weaves fascinating history with spiritually into an interesting perspective for anyone, no matter beliefs.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jerome
  • 2018-03-07

Not very satisfying

Pales by comparison to his other (superb) books. No more than a long essay and, ultimately, an unsatisfying one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carlos Gomes
  • 2019-03-13

A must listen.

Absorve a new/old universal perspective of humanity and it's believes...

For all ears: agnostc, gnostic and sceptic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maria C. Zuniga
  • 2019-03-08

Everybody should read this book

if this were tought before joining any organized religion, half the wars, conflicts, and genocides would be avoided

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bryan
  • 2018-10-05

insightful and confirming!

A confirmation of what my personal journey has, is and will continue to be about for as long as my conscious allows! thank you profoundly Reza Aslan!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maoamsterdam
  • 2018-01-17

written by a believer which transcents

struggled to finish because the argumentation and train of thought is led from a believing point of view. And often some of the conclusions aren't proven but merely presented.

5 people found this helpful