September 2013

A Conversation with Reza Aslan - Oct. 3

Santa Clara, Calif., Sept. 17, 2013 - Reza Aslan, author of the New York Times and Amazon No. 1 best-seller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, will be at Santa Clara University for a conversation with Catherine Murphy, author of The Historical Jesus for Dummies, and David Pinault, an expert on Islam and popular culture, on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Mayer Theatre.

Admission is free. Tickets are not required; seating is first-come, first-served. Aslan will sign his book afterward.

Reza Aslan graduated from Santa Clara University in 1995 and is a writer, scholar of religions, media entrepreneur, and a political commentator on Islamic issues. During a recent interview, Aslan found himself at the center of a media controversy when a Fox News interviewer repeatedly questioned why a Muslim was qualified to write about Jesus.

Catherine Murphy is a religious studies associate professor whose research focuses on the interplay between religion and economics during 100 B.C. and 200 A.D. Murphy graduated from Santa Clara in 1983, received her M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament and early Christianity from the University of Notre Dame in 1999, and joined the SCU faculty in 1998.

David Pinault is a religious studies professor whose research involves the nexus of religion, popular culture, and communal identity in Muslim societies, as reflected in ritual and literary sources.

The conversation, moderated by Religious Studies Professor Paul Crowley, S.J., may address:

  • Are there underlying assumptions about a Muslim writing a book on Jesus? What may be some of the ethical implications about such assumptions? What can result when religious research and dialogue is discouraged among those of different faiths?
  • How accurate is the historical and literary argumentation of Zealot?
  • How does Aslan respond to more critical scholarly reviews by historical Jesus scholars?

This event is co-sponsored by the Silicon Valley Commonwealth Club.

Questions: Contact Christine Cole at 408-554-5124 or

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,685 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.

For more information, see

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