PLEASE READ: In order to provide the best possible audience experience, we are moving this event to a more intimate venue at Seattle First Baptist Church. The date and time will remain the same.
If you have already purchased tickets, we will be mailing you updated tickets in the coming weeks.
We look forward to seeing you in this new space, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
To purchase Student and/or Grand Patron single tickets to this event, please call the SAL Box Office at 206.621.2230 x10.
Aslan will be in attendance at the pre-event reception.
“Islam doesn't promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion, and like every religion in the world, it depends on what you bring to it. If you're a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism, is going to be violent.” – Reza Aslan
“I believe in God, which means I am open to some absurd possibilities. But I understand the power of that faith, and I understand the metaphor of that belief.” – Reza Aslan
"Aslan is steeped in the history, languages and scriptural foundation of the biblical scholar and is a very clear writer with an authoritative, but not pedantic, voice" – The Seattle Times on Zealot
Reza Aslan will present an original, multi-media talk about his new book, God: A Human History. All tickets except students include a copy of the book. This event will not include a Q&A session.
Internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan replaced the traditional portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions in his #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot. In his most personal book to date, God: A Human History, Aslan explores the origin of religion and how different ideas of God have both united, and divided us for millennia. At the nucleus of his provocative new work is one idea that has spanned time, locations, and cultures: the concept of the “humanized god”—a supercharged, divine version of ourselves.
This compulsion to humanize the divine is hardwired in our brains, which is why it has become a central feature in almost every religious tradition the world has ever known. The very process through which the concept of God arose in human evolution compels us, consciously or not, to fashion God in our own image. In fact, the entire history of human spirituality can be viewed as one long, interconnected, ever-evolving, and remarkably cohesive effort to make sense of the divine by giving it our emotions and our personalities, by ascribing to it our traits and our desires, by providing it with our strengths and our weaknesses, even our own bodies – in short, by making God us.
More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God or many gods or no god at all, God: A Human History will transform the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.
Dr. Reza Aslan is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He was previously a Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Community at Drew University, where he taught from 2012 to 2013, and Assistant Visiting Professor of Religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Aslan holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a minor in biblical Greek from Santa Clara University (1992-1995). He has a master of theological studies at the Divinity School from Harvard University (1997-1999), and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also holds am M.F.A. in Fiction degree from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. Dr. Aslan's first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, was an international bestseller, and his book Zealot was a #1 New York Times bestseller. In addition, he authored How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror.
Aslan has also edited two volumes: Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, Complexities. Dr. Aslan is the founder of AslanMedia.com, which is a social media site for news and information on the greater Middle East. He has written for numerous publications and is a frequent guest on major news networks. He is the recipient of the Levantine Cultural Center’s East-West Media Award (2012), the Media Bridge-Builder Award from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (2013), and in 2014 he became an Intersections International Honoree for his work promoting justice, reconciliation, and peace. In addition to his role as a Consulting Producer on the acclaimed HBO series The Leftovers, Aslan is also the host and Executive Producer of two other original television programs: Rough Draft with Reza Aslan (premiered on Ovation), and the CNN documentary series, Believer. He also served as an Executive Producer on the ABC drama, Of Kings and Prophets.
No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (2005)
Beyond Fundamentalism (2009)
Caravanserai: Traces, Places, Dialogue in the Middle East (2012)
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013)
God: A Human History (Forthcoming in 2017)