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Has religion—a guiding force for billions of people—become simply the root cause of wars, political strife, and ideological dust-ups? The speakers here offer a luminous understanding of religion’s pivotal role in modern life.

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Reza Aslan

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Zealot, Host of CNN's Believer

Reza Aslan addresses topics of Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim Americans with authority, wit, and infectious optimism. He is the author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth—a momentou...

Karen Armstrong

Founder of The Charter for Compassion

Karen Armstrong is the most original and inclusive speaker on the role of religion in the modern world. Her bestselling books, including A History of God, and sought-after talks examine the difference...

Stephen Prothero

One of America's Foremost Experts on Religion

Though America is deeply religious, Americans know shockingly little about religion. Without a grasp of religions, we are ill-equipped to understand world affairs or the motivations of our political l...

Parvez Sharma

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker of A Sinner in Mecca and A Jihad for Love

Parvez Sharma makes fearless, award-winning documentaries about faith, identity, and social justice. In A Sinner in Mecca, shot mostly with an iPhone, guerrilla-style, Sharma travels to Mecca to revea...

Wajahat Ali

Speaker on Muslim-American Experience, New York Times Op-Ed Contributor

What does it feel like to be a Muslim today—especially in the era of Trump? How can we come together to overcome Islamophobia and harmful stereotypes? Award-winning playwright, lawyer, and TV host Waj...

Negin Farsad

Social Justice Comedian, Director of The Muslims Are Coming!

Negin Farsad is at the forefront of social justice comedy—a field that she insists totally exists (or should). A TED Senior Fellow, author of How to Make White People Laugh, and as one of few Iranian-...

Graeme Wood

National Correspondent for The Atlantic | Author of The Way of the Strangers

“What ISIS Really Wants.” That’s the title of Graeme Wood’s viral Atlantic cover story, which was the most-read piece on the Internet—the entire Internet—in 2015. Its influence on how we understand IS...

Megan Phelps-Roper

Former Member of the Westboro Baptist Church | Writer & Educator

Formally of the Westboro Baptist Church—a group infamous for its intolerance—Megan Phelps-Rope is a unique example of how empathy can overcome hate, and how tolerance can bridge ideology.

Bassam Tariq

TED Fellow and Director of These Birds Walk

Bassam Tariq is a TED Fellow and director of the acclaimed film These Birds Walk. Through his work—as a filmmaker, blogger, and halal butcher shop owner—he shares intimate stories of Muslims from arou...

Matthew Vines

Author of God and the Gay Christian

Matthew Vines is a gay Christian—and that’s no contradiction. He has also become a leading new voice on the Bible and homosexuality. His groundbreaking speech countering anti-gay interpretations of Sc...

Andrea Elliott

Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Investigative Journalist: “Invisible Child: Homeless in America”

Investigative journalist Andrea Elliott puts a human face to a wide array of topics, from child poverty to Muslim life in America. Her recent series on homelessness won the George Polk Award, and prom...

Kenneth Miller

Expert on Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism

Kenneth Miller has been called “the public guardian of evolution in America.” In popular talks, he brilliantly defangs and debunks the Intelligent Design movement, which claims that evolution is “just...

Hooman Majd

Expert on US-Iranian Relations, Author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Hooman Majd is a luminous new voice on Iran—America’s top foreign policy concern. Who are Iranians? What do they really think about America? And what can we take away from the historic nuclear deal? W...

Shereen El Feki

TED Global Fellow and Author of Sex and the Citadel

In Sex and the Citadel, TED Global Fellow Shereen El Feki sheds light on a highly sensitive and still largely secret aspect of Arab society: the sexual lives of men and women. Linking sex to political...