On Reza Aslan’s “Zealot”: A Symposium

WITHIN ONE MONTH of its publication, Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth has managed to achieve a record of sorts: to become one of the new books at once most despised (if you follow Fox News, for instance) and most sought after (if you look, say, at Amazon.com’s best-sellers list). Unless people are buying the book just to burn it, the obvious question is: what is it about this title that causes such a divergent response? In an attempt to find an answer, Los Angeles Review of Books has invited three writers to discuss Aslan’s book: Andrei Codrescu, Kevin Hart and Phillip Maciak. Each reviewer considers the book from a distinct disciplinary and rhetorical angle; while produced independently, these readings complement and enliven each other. We hope that this critical exercise offers the book the serious discussion it deserves.

— Costica Bradatan



Photo by Marion Ettlinger
Photo by Marion Ettlinger

Aslan’s Jesus “is not sexy, inspired, or visionary, but does shine with a malevolent light when he speaks of war and bloodshed. Otherwise, he is dour, hidden, engaged in an endless pedantic quarrel with the guardians of the Temple. He doubts himself only when he feels that he’s not zealous enough.” [Read More]



Kevin Hart
Photo by abc.net.au

“When we talk about the ‘historical Jesus’ we are talking not about the itinerant rabbi who lived 2000 years ago but about the Jesus who comes into view using the techniques of modern historiography.” [Read More]



Photo for LARB

“Aslan does not ask, “What would Jesus do?” Instead, he asks, “What would someone like Jesus do?”. . . we ought not ask what Reza Aslan reveals to us about Jesus, but what Reza Aslan’s Jesus reveals about us. Is there some significance, in the age of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, to a story about the fall of an unassailable empire and the breaking of the cycle of failed revolutions?” [Read More]




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Tomás Rivera Book PrizeSubmit your manuscript to be entered to win

Open to any author writing in English about the Chicanx/Latinx experience, the Rivera Book Prize is committed to the discovery and fostering of extraordinary writing by a first-time or early career author whose work examines the long and varied contributions of Chicanx/Latinx in the US. The Rivera Book Prize aims to provide a platform that showcases the emerging literary talent of the Chicanx/Latinx community, to cultivate the next generation of Chicanx/Latinx writers, and to continue the rich literary memory of Tomás Rivera, Chicano author, poet, activist, and educator.

AWARD: $1,000 prize, publication of manuscript by LARB Libros, and ten copies. Additionally, winner will receive a stipend to assist with travel to Southern California for a reading and book signing at UC Riverside during Writers Week.

DEADLINE: January 17, 2020. Apply via Submittable Here.

Entry Fee: $35. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Eligibility: All previously unpublished works in prose written primarily in English focused on the Chicanx/Latinx experience in the United States.