Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fascinating Book Reviews

Two book reviews caught my eye today so I thought I would share them with you here.

The first is Jim Cullen's review of Reza Aslan's "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazereth" which featured on the History News Network:
Aslan believes the detachment of Jesus from his immediate political context was greatly facilitated by the apostle Paul, who, despite never knowing Jesus personally, managed to wrest control of the movement away from those (notably Jesus's brother, James) who did, and who tried to keep the Judaic dimension of his life central. It was Paul who made Jesus of Nazareth Jesus Christ, Hellenizing him for a broader (and often more educated) audience. Aslan, however, clearly prefers Jesus the man, who he concludes is "every bit as compelling, charismatic and praiseworthy as Jesus the Christ. He is, in short, someone worth believing in." 

The second is Lee and J.J. MacFadden's review of "Food in Medieval Times" by Melitta Weiss Adamson which featured on the TriCities dot com:
The book begins with a timeline, starting in 451 A.D. and ending in 1500 A.D. In the introduction, we are told that the Europeans in this time period were unfamiliar with the potato, tomato, turkey, corn or cacao. We are also informed that cookbooks from this time period did not survive very well; nearly all of those that did survive are from the 14 and 15 centuries, lending little to no information as to how food was prepared in the early Middle Ages. In addition, these cookbooks were compiled and copied by the educated elite, which means the food of the lower classes remains somewhat of a mystery.

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