Reza Aslan to Receive James Joyce Award

Internationally known author and scholar of religions honored by Europe's largest university society

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Reza Aslan, professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside and best-selling author, has been named the recipient of the James Joyce Award and an Honorary Fellowship of the Literary & Historical Society, Europe’s largest university society.

The James Joyce Award is given to those who have excelled in a field of human endeavor and have made a profound impact on the world around them. Recipients in recent years have included Salman Rushdie, Alan Rickman, Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky. The award will be presented in the 2016-17 academic year.

The Literary & Historical Society is located in University College Dublin, Ireland, which is Ireland’s largest university, with more than 25,000 students.

“Given your immense success in the field of theology, we maintain your accomplishments certainly merit the award,” Sinead McCarthy, fellowships officer of the 162nd Session of the Literary and Historical Society, wrote in a letter announcing the award. “… We feel that your principled and unique analysis of Islam and other religions will be very educational for the students (at UCD), many of which are of either Christian or no faith – not to forget the university’s growing Islamic community. In an age where Islamophobia and ignorance of Islam dominate media discourse, we would be honoured to hear you speak in front of the Society to challenge the students and present to them another way of thinking about the way religion and specifically Islam are discussed and presented in the modern world.”

Aslan is an internationally renowned author and scholar of religions. His books include the New York imes Bestseller “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” and international bestseller “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.” His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post, and he appears frequently on TV and radio shows as a religion and political analyst. He also is the host and executive producer of Ovation’s “Rough Draft with Reza Aslan,” and CNN’s upcoming documentary series, “Believer.”

Aslan earned a B.A. in religious studies from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa.

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