JACK MILES pursued religious studies at Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and holds a doctorate in Near Eastern languages from Harvard University. In 2002 he was named a MacArthur Fellow, and he currently serves as Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Senior Fellow for Religion and International Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy. In the 2018-2019 academic year, he will serve as Corcoran Visiting Professor of Christian and Jewish Learning at Boston College. His book God: A Biography won a Pulitzer Prize. He served as editor for the Los Angeles Times Book Review and was a member of that newspaper’s editorial board. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among many other publications. He lives in southern California and Boston.
Who is Allah? What makes Him unique? And what does He ask of those who submit to His teachings? In the spirit of his Pulitzer Prize-winning God, a trailblazing “biography” of the protagonist of the Old Testament, and Christ, his brilliant portrait of biblical Jesus, acclaimed religious scholar Jack Miles undertakes to answer these questions with his characteristic perspicacity, intelligence, and command of the subject. Miles depicts a “character” less mercurial than Yahweh, less ready to forgive than Christ, and yet emphatically part of their traditions. God in the Qur’an revises and perfects: His purpose is to make whole what had been corrupted or lost from the practices and scriptures of the earlier Abrahamic religions. Setting passages from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an side by side, Miles illuminates what is unique about Allah, His teachings and His temperament, and in doing so revises that which is false, distorted, or simply absent from our conception of the heart of Islam. Miles writes, “I hope [that by reading this book] you may find it a little easier to trust the Muslim next door, thinking of him as someone whose religion, after all, may not be so wildly unreasonable that someone holding to it could not be a trusted friend.”