Dr. Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed writer on religion in society, is the 2012-2013 Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict.

Dr. Aslan will be in residence at Drew for the academic year, teaching special topics in the Religious Studies department including “Religion and Politics in the New Middle East” this fall.  He will also present numerous public lectures for the extended Drew community, such as “New Media and Global Transformation” in New York City on October 10 and “Implications of the U.S. Election on the Middle East” at Drew on November 13.

The Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Scholars program, which brings students and faculty into conversation with public intellectuals about cultural and religious interaction, is made possible by a multi-year grant from Jane and Bernard Wallerstein.  Alsan is the second Wallerstein scholar at Drew, preceded by Egyptian sociologist and human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

Dr. Aslan’s work includes No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade.  Among his many other roles, he currently serves on the faculty at the University of California, Riverside and as a contributing editor for The Daily Beast.  He is a frequent guest on national television and radio programs, from Meet the Press and All Things Considered to the Daily Show and Colbert Report, discussing religion and global politics.

Born in Tehran in 1972, Reza fled Iran with his family in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religions from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies’ degree from Harvard Divinity School, a doctorate in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts’ degree from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.  Aslan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, and is the founder and CEO of Aslan Media which provides news and information about the Middle East.

–Barbara Price

Posted in Gateway Messenger