Iran Dissident Alarms Clerics With Calls Islamic Democracy

TEHRAN--Despite his turban and cloak, or perhaps because of it, Mohsen Kadivar is a "dangerous man" for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The 41 years old cleric and confidant of President Mohammed Khatami trained at Iran's best theological seminary and taught at some of the best universities in the country. He was active in the Islamic revolution that toppled the shah 21 years ago and has written heavy tomes on Islamic philosophy and law. But that was before he was banned from teaching, before he was tried and sentenced to…

Sacral Defense of Secularism, Dissident Political Theology in Iran

  Abstract This paper discusses thress post-revolutionary dissident political theologies in Iran. They all question the absoloutist theology of the ruling clerics and utilize indigenous sources of scholarship to oppose the clerical hegemony. They ahve complementary emphases: whereas Soroush highlights the variable nature of religious knowledge, Shabestari and Kadivar underline its limited and multiple nature. They represent the maturing of the dialogue of the Iranian-Islamic thought with Western Social and political philosophy, and as the coming of age of the indigenous Islamic political theology reclaiming its pluralistic and democratic elements.…

The Concerns of a Religious State

Religious states have some specific concerns alongside the general concerns of every state. These concerns can be divided into two categories the first of which is whether such policies and states would succeed in implementing the minimum duties of a conventional state and policy or not. Would they sacrifice administration for guidance? Would the citizens’ freedoms and rights be observed alongside the implementation of religious tasks and duties? Would the religious sanctity of the political power structure obstruct the means of supervision and criticism and ultimately lead to religious despotism…