Reza Aslan :: Battling Ignorance, Reclaiming God

There was a brilliant interview with Reza Aslan, the professor, historian, author and humiliator of the ignorant, in Playboy magazine a couple of months ago. You can read it here.

You may know Reza Aslan from his appearance on CNN last year, in which he addresses the ill-informed bias of his interviewees with implacable cool and such jaw-dropping eloquence that it’s an absolute treat to watch…

Then there’s his appearance on Fox News, when ‘Chief Religion Correspondent’ Lauren Green questioned his right to write a book about the historical life of Christ when he was, you know, a heretic…

Even more bewildering is Fox’s response to the interview, applauding Lauren Green’s journalistic integrity.

After watching the interview with CNN, I must confess that I found myself wondering how someone so rational and clear-thinking and clearly brilliant could genuinely declare himself an adherent of any theistic religion. Which is a clear reflection of my own bias, of course. That bias is referenced at the start of the Playboy interview…

Screenshot 2015-09-02 15.28.53

I’m in that camp. I wanted him to denounce religious belief as irrational and illogical. Further into the interview, he explains a little more about his faith…

Screenshot 2015-09-02 15.36.29

So Islam for Aslan is just a framework in which to exercise his faith. And you’ve gotta have faith, in some form or other – some belief that life is more than just you, otherwise, well, you barely exist. And if we accept – and I think we do – that this God that Aslan speaks of experiencing is not merely a man in the sky or indeed any kind of singular entity anywhere, but rather the whole of life, combined and accumulated, everywhere and always, including – obviously – every other human being that’s ever lived and ever will, then everything begins to make sense again.

 

Phew.

Here’s Tom with the weather.

 

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