October 20, 2006
Author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam to speak on campus
Reza Aslan, a writer and scholar of comparative religion, will give a talk on campus Tuesday, Oct. 24, about Islam and changes occurring within the faith.
Sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, "Welcome to the Islamic Reformation!" is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
One of Aslan's central themes is that an internal battle is taking place within Islam between the values of individualism and the traditional authority of clerics. This struggle is fueling a reformation that Aslan says has parallels to the 16th-century revolution in Christianity. Aslan is the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, which challenges the "clash of civilizations" mentality that he argues has distorted the Western view of Islam.
"One of the achievements of Reza Aslan's book is that it gives Islam as much internal complexity and diversity as the concepts 'the West' and 'America' possess in our eyes," Pankaj Mishra wrote in the New York Review of Books.
Born in Iran, Aslan left the country with his family when he was 7. He holds a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard University and is a research associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post and Slate, among other news publications, and appeared on Meet the Press, Hardball, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Daily Show and Nightline.
Aslan will sign books following the lecture.