Despite Elizabeth Castelli's dismissal of Fox News for questioning Aslan as a religious scholar as she acknowledged Aslan could claim as a scholar of history-of-religions , she dismissed his claims of being a historian. She wrote " History of religions is [...] a particular disciplinary approach[...] often associated in the United States with the University of Chicago and the University of California at Santa Barbara , where Aslan earned his PhD in sociology . To the extent that he did coursework in the UCSB Religious Studies department, he can certainly lay claim... But his claims are more grandiose than that and are based on his repeated public statements that he speaks with authority as a historian. He has therefore reasonably opened himself to criticism."  The Atlantic concurred with Prof. Castelli's acknowledgment on Aslan's religious credentials.