Religious Generation of Knowledge and Modernization in Post-Revolutionary Iran

The heterogeneity of Islam and Shiite spirituality in Iran receive little attention in Western discourse. Rather, it is simply assumed that Iranian Shia poses an obstacle to modernity.

Little is known about what religious-political actors in Iran associate with the terms Islam, modernity, modernization or democratization or about the extent to which their religious-political contributions enable or inhibit the peaceful transition to democracy.

This project analyzed the discourse taking place domestically in Iran along with the supporters and opponents of reform with the aim of identifying obstacles to democratization.

The investigation found that there is a strong grouping of reform-oriented clerics and religious intellectuals within Iranian society who would like to grant religion an autonomous position, who reject the paternalism of religious authority, and who support the restructuring of state institutions on the basis of rationality.

Project director:
  • Akbari, Semiramis
Religiöse Wissensgenerierung und Modernisierung: | 2010

Semiramis Akbari, Religiöse Wissensgenerierung und Modernisierung: Wandel religiös-politischer Deutungsmuster im politischen Diskurs der Schia und Verschiebungen der inneren Machtbalance im postrevolutionären Iran, Studien der Hessischen Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (Bd. 8), Baden-Baden (Nomos), 2010.

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