Sects, Cults, Cannibals: Reza Aslan on His Controversial Fringe Religion Show – RollingStone

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The reaction to the premiere of religious scholar Reza Aslan’s new CNN series Believer was, to put it mildly, zealous. In one particularly intense scene, Aslan eats human brain matter as part of his attempt to understand the Aghori, a sect of Hindus who use such shock tactics as a way to disrespect the caste system. Aslan assiduously maintains, however, that this was merely a representation of what certain people believe – he had, after all, been asked to consume the material. Aslan compares Scientology to Mormonism’s early reception as the “punchline to American Christianity.”) Intriguingly, Aslan focuses on independent practitioners of Scientology, whose existence he compares to the Christian Reformation. Read More…