On Reading the Koran


Lesley Hazleton, an award-winning British-American writer who writes on politics, religion, and history, presented this talk at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design), the global set of conferences coordinated by the private non-profit organisation Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading”. She calls herself an “accidental theologian” and is the author of Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother (London: Bloomsbury, 2004). In this presentation, she discusses the adventure of really reading the Koran, with openness and without thinking that we already know what we are going to find. Given the events of the last decade, Islam has been the most caricatured religion in the world — and it is true that, as it happens in other religions, it is precisely some of its adherents who distort its teachings and oversimplify its beliefs.