In his lectures and writings, Aslan explores the intricate interplay between faith and politics in the Muslim world, presenting Islam as an ever-evolving faith and culture that is currently in the midst of a cataclysmic internal battle for reform and modernization. Aslan argues that the current conflicts in the Middle East are not the result of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, but rather the consequences of an Islamic reformation occurring with the Muslim world, an internal struggle to define the future of this magnificent yet misunderstood faith and to harmonize its traditions and values with contemporary ideals of democracy and human rights.
Reza Aslan has degrees in religion from Santa Clara University, Harvard University, and U.C. Santa Barbara, as well as a M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop. In 2000, Aslan was named visiting professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Iowa, becoming the first full-time professor of Islam in the history of the state. In 2003, Aslan left his post at the University of Iowa to concentrate full-time on writing. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New York Review of Books, Prospect Magazine (UK), Slate Magazine and The Nation.
Reza Aslans lecture is made possible through the generosity of CMC alumnus L. J. Kutten 74, and is part of the Athenaeum series Voices from the Middle East.