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Beyond Fundamentalism

Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization

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eBook published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The wars in the Middle East have become religious wars in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked America on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting in the name of God. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, the United States, by infusing the War on Terror with its own religiously polarizing rhetoric, is fighting a similar war—a war that can’t be won. 

Beyond Fundamentalism is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling al-Qa‘ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At a time when religion and politics increasingly share the same vocabulary and function in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie at its root.

How do you win a religious war? By refusing to fight in one.



Featuring new content and updated analysis

Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War
Show less
The wars in the Middle East have become religious wars in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked America on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting in the name of God. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, the United States, by infusing the War on Terror with its own religiously polarizing rhetoric, is fighting a similar war—a war that can’t be won. 

Beyond Fundamentalism is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling al-Qa‘ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At a time when religion and politics increasingly share the same vocabulary and function in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie at its root.

How do you win a religious war? By refusing to fight in one.



Featuring new content and updated analysis

Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War
Product Details
eBook
Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780679604242
Other books byReza Aslan
  • No god but God (Updated Edition)

    No god but God (Updated Edition)
    The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
    A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A finalist for the Guardian First Book Award In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.

    Zealot

    Zealot
    The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Booklist • Publishers Weekly • Bookish From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.   Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.   Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.   Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry—a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.   Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.   Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth’s life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion. Praise for Zealot   “Riveting . . . Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”—The New Yorker “A lucid, intelligent page-turner.”—Los Angeles Times   “Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn . . . Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks down that image.”—The Seattle Times   “[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait.”—Salon   “This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”—San Francisco Chronicle

    No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam

    No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam
    In this invaluable introduction to a faith that for much of the West remains shrouded in ignorance and fear, Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed scholar of comparative religion, examines Islam: its rituals and traditions, the revelation of Muhammad as Prophet and the subsequent uprising against him, and the emergence of his successors. Aslan's comprehensive text explores the complex history of the fastest-growing religion in the world.     No god but God is an engaging, accessible, and thought-provoking book for young people that is sure to stimulate discussion and encourage understanding of the Islamic faith and the people who follow it. From the Hardcover edition.

    How to Win a Cosmic War

    How to Win a Cosmic War
    God, Globalization, and the End of the War on...
    A cosmic war is a religious war. It is a battle not between armies or nations, but between the forces of good and evil, a war in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting a cosmic war. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, by infusing the United States War on Terror with the same kind of religiously polarizing rhetoric and Manichean worldview, is also fighting a cosmic war–a war that can’t be won. How to Win a Cosmic War is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling al-Qa‘ida, the Taliban, and like-minded militants throughout the Muslim world, and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Surveying the global scene from Israel to Iraq and from New York to the Netherlands, Aslan argues that religion is a stronger force today than it has been in a century. At a time when religion and politics are increasingly sharing the same vocabulary and functioning in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world–in particular, the War on Terror–of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie behind the cosmic impulse. How do you win a cosmic war? By refusing to fight in one. From the Hardcover edition.

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