UCSB Scholar to Discuss Puritanism and Violence in the Muslim World

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

A recent poll conducted by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress indicates that of 100 top U.S. foreign policy analysts questioned, nearly 90 percent -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- believe the United States is losing the global war on terror. According to the poll, they perceive the world becoming more dangerous for U.S. citizens while the current administration's homeland security efforts remain inadequate.

Reza Aslan, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam" (Random House, 2005), will discuss why this is the case and offer a fresh perspective on how to move forward in the global struggle against puritanism and violence in the Muslim world. His lecture, titled "The Clash of Monotheisms, or How to Win A Cosmic War," is part of the UCSB Affiliates Spirituality and Culture series. It will be presented on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 21 E. Constance St.

Born in Iran, Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction from the University of Iowa. He is the Middle East commentator on Marketplace on public radio and a regular op-ed contributor to the Los Angeles Times, and has written for The New York Times, Slate, Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Nation, and others, and has appeared on Meet the Press, Hardball, The Daily Show, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Nightline.

Currently a research associate at the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California, Aslan has been a visiting professor of Islamic and Middle East studies at the University of Iowa and the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has served as a legislative assistant for the Friends' Committee on National Legislation in Washington D.C., and was elected president of Harvard's Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a United Nations Organization committed to solving religious conflicts throughout the world.

Admission to the Spirituality and Culture lecture is $8 for UCSB Affiliates or Chancellor's Council members and $10 for the general public. Advance registration is recommended by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388.

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