Scholar briefly becomes a household name

Reza Aslan’s name isn’t readily recognizable to millions of Americans.

But for a time not long after the 2012 presidential election, he became known to a lot more Americans than he otherwise might have been.

He wrote a book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” He went on TV to promote his book. One of his appearances was on the Fox News Channel, where he was interviewed by Fox anchor Lauren Greene, who then proceeded to question quite aggressively why Aslan, a Muslim scholar, would write a book about Jesus, the man Christians worship as the son of God.

The interview, truth be told, didn’t go well for Greene. The backlash from it whipsawed all across the media, particularly because of her aggressive tone in questioning Aslan’s credentials and even his motives for writing the book.

Well, Panhandle PBS will rebroadcast an interview that Evan Smith, editor in chief of The Texas Tribune, had with Aslan. It will be shown on Panhandle PBS beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.

He’ll talk about the book, about Aslan’s scholarship and the research that went into writing the volume.

And oh yes, Smith is likely to get around to talking about the Lauren Greene interview, which garnered Aslan a lot more controversy and attention by itself than his book likely would have delivered.


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