Monday, April 13, 2009

A year of living biblically

Author: A J Jacobs

My expectation from this book was very different from what it actually is – so I was somewhat disappointed. On reading the title, I was under the impression that it would feed my hunger for learning about different religions – in this case Christianity; that wasn’t entirely true.

The book is about how the author spent a year by following the rules of the bible, yes that’s exactly what the title says! His goal is to follow the rules literally. He consults a number of Rabbis and different versions of Bible to decide upon the set of rules. One does get an interesting perspective on the literal meaning of these rules and also how they get out-dated. What is impressive is that the author is an atheist when he begins this experiment but by the end of it, is not completely so.

I was expecting a deeper analysis of these rules and was irked to see the shallow interpretation – but of course, that was author’s intent. Reading this also made me realize that there is a huge common base underlying all religions; what totally amazed me was that like Hinduism, Christianity also has special rules for women during their monthlies!! All along I always thought that it was only Hinduism which prescribed it. Well this was one small example and it illuminates the granularity of commonalities.

Bottomline: An ok read.

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