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Leading Middle Eastern Scholar, News Analyst to Speak at UW-Madison

October 13, 2008

Reza Aslan, internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, will deliver the talk “Winning a Cosmic War: Can Common Ground be Found within the Abrahamic Religions?” as the first Rose Thering fellow of the UW-Madison Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR).

The public lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Elvehjem Auditorium, Room L160.

Aslan is a fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy and is the Middle East analyst for CBS News as well as a featured blogger on “Anderson Cooper 360.” His first book, New York Times bestseller “No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam,” has been translated into half a dozen languages, was short-listed for the Guardian (UK) First Book Award and was nominated for a PEN USA award for research in nonfiction. His next book, “How to Win a Cosmic War: Why We’re Losing the War on Terror,” will be published by Random House this fall.

“Reza Aslan is a public intellectual who is both ‘hip’ and trenchant,” says Charles Cohen, professor of history and religious studies and director of LISAR. “He challenges audiences to reappraise what they think they know about how the United States engages, and should engage, with Muslims at home and abroad.”

Aslan is the first Rose Thering fellow. This fellowship, a gift of Victor and Susan Temkin, is designed to bring a leading figure in conversations among Jews, Christians, and Muslims to UW-Madison as a scholar-in-residence to both deliver a public lecture as well as meet with small groups of students, faculty, and Madison community members, both lay and clerical.

“By providing an opportunity for the general public to hold in-depth conversations about the Abrahamic religions with prominent public figures,” Cohen continues, “LISAR’s Thering Fellowship perfectly embodies the Wisconsin Idea. We are delighted to have someone with Aslan’s insight and visibility inaugurate the series.”

For more institute information, contact Karen Turino at LISAR: (608) 263-1821
, LISAR@mailplus.wisc.edu.

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