Aspects of Life of Reza Aslan
In some chapters he appears to write his “life” of Jesus directly from episodes in the Gospels, somewhat like the nineteenth century lives of Jesus reviewed by Albert Schweitzer a hundred years ago. Every so often, his brief sketches of life in Galilee are reminiscent of the romantic “Galilean idyll” of Ernest Renan’s Vie de Jesu (1863). In some cases he compares the different gospel accounts of a given incident; more often he collates them, while regularly assuming a “narrative license” to embellish, and often to exaggerate. Periodically he takes (for example) a statement by the distinctively Matthean Jesus or a later memory of the disciples in John as a statement of Jesus.
A member of the American Academy of Religions, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Qur’anic Studies Association, Aslan’s previous academic positions include the Wallerstein Distinguished Professor of Religion, Community and Conflict at Drew University in New Jersey (2012-2013), and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Iowa (2000-2003).