Contesting the Jurists' Authority: Muslim Critique and Counter-Traditions in the Islamic Republic of Iran Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Foody, Kathleen
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • In this thesis I suggest that attending to the rhetorical construction of Iranian dissident arguments allows entry to a complex world of continually reconstructed and resituated Iranian imaginaries of Islam. Here, I engage with the work of two contemporary dissident Iranian authors, Abdolkarim Soroush (b. 1945 CE) and Mohammad Mujtahid Shabestari (b. 1936), and demonstrate the ways in which their critiques of Islamic juridical authority and Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) themselves draw upon long-standing debates within Islamic tradition. I argue that, while these authors do in fact reimagine and reform elements of Islamic tradition in order to argue for a rationalist democratic politics, that reformation cannot be understood merely as the imposition of Euro-American models of secularism, but rather prioritizes a refigured imaginary of Islamic worship linked to inner states and self-conscious embodied practice.
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  • Ernst, Carl
  • Open access

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