The watershed events of 1979 undoubtedly led to a rise in the pervasiveness of religious extremism in the greater Middle East. Scholar and writer Reza Aslan avers that despite all the confident predictions about the death of God, religion is a stronger, more global force today than it has been in generations – with the growth of conservative and fundamentalist believers outpacing that of moderates, liberals, the unaffiliated, and atheists. Aslan discusses the rise of religious fundamentalism from Lahore to Jerusalem, and how globalization has blurred the line between religion and politics in the contemporary greater Middle East.
Reza Aslan is the author of the New York Times bestselling, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into thirteen languages, and How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror. He is a cofounder and creative director of BoomGen Studios, a mini studio and media company focusing on creative content from and about the Middle East, as well as the Editorial Executive of Mecca.com, an on-line community for Muslim youth.
Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles where he is assistant professor of Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside. He is also the Senior Fellow at the Orfalea Center on Global and International Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. He received his B.A. from Santa Clara University, his M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Recorded Wednesday, December 09, 2009 at InterContinental Hotel.