Sunday, June 6, 2010
Author Spotlight: The Alexandria Letter by Dr. George Honig
In his new novel, The Alexandria Letter, Dr. George R. Honig considers the possibility that rather than strictly a miracle-worker, Jesus was a brilliant medicinal healer far ahead of his time.
Honig explores this theory through a letter written by a first-century follower of Jesus and John the Baptist. In the letter, Jesus is portrayed as an ancient physician with incredible skills, allowing him to create the treatments and cures that earned a place in religious history as miracles.
“As a doctor, I’m very interested in what healers of the past might have achieved,” Honig says. “Jesus may have been the greatest physician of his day and it’s fascinating to consider how he might have accomplished many of his miracles.”
As the letter’s story of Jesus’ life and death unfolds, The Alexandria Letter also follows the story of its modern-day discoverer, a Cambridge scholar named Nathan. As he races to verify the authenticity of the letter against opposition from the Vatican, Nathan must defend his discovery, his career and even his life against a sinister agent who will do anything to see him discredited.
Dr. George R. Honig is a physician, scientist and professor who has spent most of his career researching and teaching in the field of pediatrics and hematology. Along the way, he has published numerous articles, book chapters and scientific reports.
Despite his skills and success in the sciences, Honig is not strictly a left-brain thinker. His new novel, The Alexandria Letter is a thriller set in both present and ancient times that takes a new look at the man Jesus might have been.
Inspired by his long-standing interest in history and religion, The Alexandria Letter tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth through the eyes of a Jewish first-century follower of both Jesus and John the Baptist. The letter is found by a modern-day scholar who must verify its authenticity in the face of opposition from the Vatican and a threat to his academic career and his life.
Honig draws on his experience as a doctor to explore a theory of Jesus as an extraordinary medical healer rather than a miracle-worker. As a physician, Honig is interested in how Jesus might have achieved cures that seemed miraculous to the people of the day.
Honig earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois and earned his doctorate in biochemistry from George Washington University. He co-founded the University of Illinois Sickle Cell Center, which aims to improve quality of life for sickle-cell patients and to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the disease.
After graduation, Honig completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and specialized in pediatric hematology and oncology. He has worked as the head of the Division of Hematology at the Children’s Memorial Hospital and as the Pediatrics Service Chief at the University of Illinois Hospital and the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Honig was also a professor at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University.
Honig lives in Chicago with his wife, Olga. He has three grown children and five grandchildren. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and works as a pediatrician at the University of Illinois Hospital.
You can learn more by visting the author's website, found at www.thealexandrialetter.com. While there, be sure to check out an excerpt from The Alexandria Letter.