• religion

Religion Speakers

 

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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Megan Phelps-Roper

Former Member of the Westboro Baptist Church | Author of Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church (Forthcoming)

Megan Phelps-Roper grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church: a group infamous for its intolerance. But dialogue on Twitter showed her another life was possible—and in 2012, she escaped her home, family, and faith. Now, with a popular TED Talk, a major New Yorker profile, and an upcoming memoir and film adaptation, she is a unique example of how empathy can overcome hate.. 
Reza Aslan

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Zealot and God: A Human History | Executive Producer of The Secret Life of Muslims

Reza Aslan is an internationally-renowned writer, commentator, professor, and religious scholar, whose NYT bestselling books and packed lectures have propelled him to the frontlines in the fight against white nationalism. Aslan argues that it is fear—organized and well-funded—that perpetuates bigotry and victimizes us all. Only united will we have the power to fight it. 
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 differences and the profound similarities between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and their impact on world events.
Wajahat Ali

Attorney, Playwright, and New York Times Op-Ed Contributor

Wajahat Ali—a New York Times contributing op-ed writer who regularly appears on CNN to discuss politics—is a new kind of public intellectual. In hilarious, politically up-to-the-minute talks, Ali shows how to learn from, and join with what he calls “the multicultural coalition of the willing”—the emergent generation poised for social change.  
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 and author of How to Make White People Laugh, Farsad is one of few Iranian-American Muslim female filmmakers to use humor—ridiculous humor—to bridge the racial, religious, social, and immigrant gap. The Wall Street Journal calls her work “smart, funny, and fascinating.” 
Matthew Vines

Author of God and the Gay Christian

Matthew Vines is a gay Christian—and that’s no contradiction. A leading new voice on the Bible and homosexuality, his groundbreaking speech countering anti-gay interpretations of Scripture has been viewed on YouTube over 700,000 times. 
Bassam Tariq

TED Fellow and Award-winning Director of The Ghosts of Sugar Land

Where do you seek representation, and how do you make yourself heard, seen, and understood? These questions inspire Bassam Tariq as a filmmaker, an entrepreneur, and speaker. TED fellow and director of the acclaimed films These Birds Walk and the Sundance Jury Prizewinning Ghosts of Sugarland, Tariq investigates the way Muslim Americans live in our polarized world today, transcending religion and politics to tell a deeply human story that affects us all.