The public has a taste for biographies of great people who on closer inspection turn out to be not so great after all. The curtain has been pulled back on Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and even Jesus.
Reza Aslan’s Zealot arrived with an enormous splash. An engaging and personal interview on NPR’s Fresh Air attracted widespread interest. Then a Fox News interview commandeered Internet coverage. The network’s religion correspondent, Lauren Green, began by asking why Aslan, a Muslim, would write a book about Jesus.
Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War, by Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini. After more than a decade of war in the Middle East, veterans are returning to civilian life with the hidden anguish of moral wounds.
Nearly 50 years ago, archaeologists found a charred and unreadable ancient scroll in a synagogue near the Dead Sea. Thanks to “virtual unwrapping,” a new technology developed at the University of Kentucky, the text is now readable. It is a fragment from the book of Leviticus that is identical to the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, the authoritative version often used to translate the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles (New York Times, September 21).