Conversations on Writing and Public Life

“Let there be light” is the University of California’s motto, a version of God’s command, whim, wish or self-congratulation as reported in Genesis. Light is good, if not necessarily God, but when two hip, smart religious scholars get together to demystify, argue and explain monotheism, there’s illumination aplenty. UCI’s Literary Journalism Department hosts Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth), lately the guy who pissed off Fox News, and Jack Miles (God: A Biography), a guy everybody likes, believers and not. These are two smart, funny religious scholars—happily more scholars than proselytizers. Together they shine brightly, throwing light on the topic of “The Jesus of History vs. the Christ of Literature,” expanding on Aslan’s recent book on both of ‘em. Religion and faith almost make sense in their explanations of the social, economic, political histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And, yes, light refreshments served.

Tue., March 4, 5 p.m., 2014

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