Abstract

This article seeks to place Mohsen Kadivar in the context of broadly defined modern Iranian (Shi-ite Islamic) religious thinkers as a postrevivalist new-thinker of religion, and to illustrate this characterization through an examination of his advocacy of ‘spiritual and goal-oriented Islam’. Committed to what he terms the ‘way of the men of reason’ as he tries to ‘defend religiosity in the modern era’, Kadivar seeks to strike a balance between modern, secular, rational ways and the ‘principal message of Islam’. After distinguishing four types of modern religious thinkers in Iran, the article examines his 2002 article ‘From Historical Islam to Spiritual Islam’, in which Kadivar outlined an approach that he contends ‘would solve a great deal of difficulties befallen to contemporary Islamic thought’.