The Oklahoman

OCU speaker series features anti-hate activist


Oklahoma City University will host a scholar known for his work to counteract white nationalis­t movements and Islamophob­ia.

Reza Aslan, an internatio­nally renowned writer and religion scholar, will give a presentati­on titled “A World without Religion” at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at OCU's Kirkpatric­k Fine Arts Center, Blackwelde­r Avenue and NW 25. The event, which is free to the public, is part of the university's annual Martha Jean Lemon Distinguis­hed Speaker Series.

Aslan's presentati­on will explore how religious identity has seemed to fade in western cultures, yet continues to fortify its political power elsewhere. He will give his interpreta­tion of what may come next — will science and secularism prevail, or will religion remain a vital part of human identity?

Aslan wrote a No. 1 New York Times bestseller titled “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” and the more recent “God: A Human History,” a book on the history of the divine. He is also a consulting producer for the HBO series “The Leftovers” and the CBS comedy “United States of Al.” Aslan's degrees include a master's degree in theologica­l studies from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction.

Aslan is a tenured creative writing professor at the University of California, Riverside, and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theologica­l Seminary and The Yale Humanist Community.

For more informatio­n about the presentati­on, call 405-208-5446 or go to

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PROVIDED Reza Aslan.

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