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Event Details

Reza Aslan: World Without Religion

8 November 2019
8.15pm – 9.15pm AEDT
Bay 17, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh
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Reza Aslan portrait unthinkably upside down

Are we in the midst of a new war of religion?

Post 9/11, the ‘war on terror’ was cast as a battle between Islam and the Judeo-Christian values of the west. But as religion fades in the west, it continues to fortify its political power elsewhere. So what’s next? Are we heading towards a world where secularism will prevail, or will religion remain a vital part of human identity?

Join acclaimed scholar of religion and #1 New York Times best-selling author Reza Aslan to discover how this war of religion might end.

This event is chaired by Julia Baird.


The fact of the matter is that people around the world, are becoming more religious, not less religious. The more globalization begins to deteriorate our national identities, the more religious identities are beginning to step into the vacuum, and become a greater force, in how communities around the world are identifying themselves.

Reza Aslan

The basic assumption of the secular society is that modernity overcomes religion.

Ulrich Beck

Unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that can keep abreast of our technological genius, it is unlikely that we will save our planet. A purely rational education will not suffice.

Karen Armstrong

Throughout human history, religion has been a force both for boundless good and for unspeakable evil.

Reza Aslan

Presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Carriageworks.


Standard – $29 + booking fee
UNSW Student & Under 18s – $23 + booking fee


$49 – $124 + booking fee 
For the most UNTHINKABLE experience, purchase a pass and save! Choose between an Ultimate Pass, Friday Double Pass, Saturday Double Pass or Saturday Triple Pass.



Wheelchair Accessible

Carriageworks has a wheelchair ramp and level access at all entrances. There is level access and accessible seating available in all venues along with multiple accessible toilets. Accessible parking is available at the end of Carriageworks Way. Enter via 229 Wilson Street. The closest train station with wheelchair access is Newtown Station.

Auslan & Captioning

The Centre for Ideas can provide Auslan and captioning services for selected talks upon request. 

Companion Card

The Centre for Ideas supports the Companion Card program. For patrons who require assistance of a companion or carer, a second ticket is issued at no cost to the Companion Card holder.


To discuss your access requirements and to book selected access services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9385 9844 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9385 9844. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9385 9844. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9385 9844.

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is an internationally renowned writer, commentator and religious scholar, whose bestselling books, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth and No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and packed lectures have propelled him to the frontlines in the fight against white nationalism. Aslan argues that it is fear—organised and well-funded—that perpetuates bigotry and victimises us all. Fear can be fought, but it requires us to come together as a people: “education alone doesn’t change minds,” says Reza in his TED talk, “relationships change minds; forming the relationships that help you see beyond the symbols that separate us; that ultimately, we’re all the same.”

Julia Baird

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author based in Sydney, Australia. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications including NewsweekThe Philadelphia Inquirer, The Guardian, The Good WeekendThe Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-HeraldThe Monthly and Harper's Bazaar. Her biography of Queen Victoria was published simultaneously in the US, UK and Australia in 2016, and has been a critical and commercial success.

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