Reza Aslan is arguably the most influential scholar of religion in America today. He’s best known for mixing it up with the likes of Bill Maher and explaining the basics of the academic study of religion to ignorant Fox News hosts. His books “Zealot” about Jesus and “No God But God” about Islam were both best sellers. In this episode Reza recounts his family’s escape from Iran during the Revolution and tells the story of his conversion to evangelical Christianity in high school. Reza and host Mark Leon Goldberg talk about the study of religion, religious experiences and rituals. Reza describes how 9-11 inadvertently thrust him into the limelight; and how “new atheists” get religion wrong. This is a great episode with lots of wonky religion talk.