In God, Reza Aslan sheds new light on mankind’s relationship with the divine and challenges our perspective on faith and the birth of religion.
From the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation, Aslan examines how the idea of god arose in human evolution, was gradually personalized, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single Divine Personality: the God known today by such names as Yahweh, Father, and Allah.
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, God challenges everything we thought we knew about the origins of religious belief, and with it our relationship with life and death, with the natural and spiritual worlds, and our understanding of the very essence of human existence.
*Ten years on from 9/11, much of the Muslim faith remains largely unknown and misunderstood in the West.
*While there have been a number of successful books on the topic of Islamic history - from Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Brief History to Bernard Lewis's The Crises of Islam - there is surprisingly no book for a popular audience about Islam as a religion, let alone one by an author from an Islamic background.
*No God But God fills that gap, addressing issues of belief: the difference between the Quran and the Bible, the meaning of the Hajj, the Muslim relationship with Jesus, the Muslim attitude towards Jews, equality between the sexes and more.
* This revised and updated edition includes a wealth of new material and new chapters covering recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; the changing face of Islam in Europe and North Africa; and a number of topics of heated debate (the veil controversy; Islam & women; Iraq War as a Jihadi recruiting agent etc).
*Why do they hate us? An entire cottage industry has arisen to answer this question. But what no one has really figured out is, who exactly are they? Is it al-Qaeda? Islamic nationalists? The whole Muslim world?
*HOW TO WIN A COSMIC WAR lays out, for the first time, a comprehensive definition of the movement behind and surrounding al-Qaeda and the like, a global ideology properly termed Jihadism.
*Contrasting twenty-first-century religious extremism across Christianity, Judaism and Islam with its historical antecedents, Aslan demonstrates that while modern Jihadis may have legitimate social grievances - the suffering of the Palestinians, American support for Arab dictators, the presence of foreign troops in Muslim lands, to name a few - they have no real goals or actual agenda.
*So, what do the Jihadists want? Aslan's answer is: Nothing. The Jihadists have no earthly agenda; they are fighting a metaphysical conflict, a theological war. And ever since 9/11, we have unfortunately been fighting the same cosmic war, the war they want: the so-called 'War on Terror'.
*How do we win a Cosmic War? By refusing to fight in one. And in this stunning new work, Aslan reveals surprising conclusions about how we can deal with this predicament.
Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. He is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. At Harvard, Aslan was elected president of Harvard's chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a UN organisation committed to global understanding. His is first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, has been translated into thirteen languages and named by Blackwells as one of the hundred most important books of the last decade. Currently teaching an introductory course on Islam at Iowa, Aslan is also at work on a novel.