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Reza Aslan

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Reza Aslan is an internationally renowned writer, commentator, professor, producer, and scholar of religions. His books, including his #1 New York Times Bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, have been translated into dozens of languages around the world. He is also a recipient of the prestigious James Joyce Award. His newest book God: A Human History (2017) is out now.

 Aslan’s first book, International Bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, has been translated into seventeen languages, and was named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade by Blackwell Publishers. He is also the author of Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age (originally titled How to Win a Cosmic War), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.

In 2006, Aslan co-founded BoomGen Studiosthe premiere entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Middle East—which has provided an array of targeted services ranging from strategic messaging to grassroots marketing to publicity and social media outreach, to producers, studios, and filmmakers—including Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, Netflix’s The Square, Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Weinstein Company’s Miral, Discovery and TLC’s All American Muslim, and National Geographic’s Amreeka.

Aslan’s degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University (Major focus: New Testament; Minor: Greek), a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University (Major focus: History of Religions), a PhD in the Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. 

Aslan is a tenured Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary and The Yale Humanist Community, which supports atheists, agnostics, and humanists at home and abroad.

 


The agricultural revolution was one of the best things to happen to the human species, right? Wrong.

Religion as a belief system goes back hundreds of thousands of years. So why are so many of the religious peoples of today so focused on a supposed God that goes back only 5,000 years? The answer lies in how our…

Aslan challenges the West and Muslims to define this clash so that we can see that we are not all that different.

The West should leave the Muslims alone and allow them to create their own societies, of which they are perfectly capable.

Religion is, first and foremost, a social phenomenon.

Religion is a part of the world, and there are many misconceptions that exist between the Muslim and Western worlds.

Islam accepts all other religions, and sees, for example, the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran as all being part of one huge book.

In Iran everyone united for the common good of getting rid of the Shah. In America two groups were formed, the rich conservatives and the middle class leftists.

Learning about America from other Iranians in Northern California was better than learning it from sitcoms in Oklahoma.

Reza Aslan asks, “what is it that you think your civilization is that makes it so different from the civilization of the other?”

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