From Islam as an Identity to Secular Politics

A religious intellectual is more concerned with religious truths than with religion as an identity. The Islam of religious intellectuals is the Islam of truths and the question of an identity is peripheral to this. A religious intellectual must, first and foremost, concern himself with faith, religious experience, differing religious readings and creating […].

Intellectual Autobiography.

Interview with Abdolkarim Soroush. Sadri: I would like to ask you for an account of your intellectual development. I am certainly interested in whether you distinguish any turning points, watersheds, or distinct periods in the evolution of your thought. Soroush: In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful, thank you for giving me this opportunity […].


Interview with Abdolkarim Soroush. April 1997 – Following his return to UK from the United States and shortly before he left London for Tehran to end a twelve-month absence from the country, Dr Soroush spoke to SERAJ in an exclusive interview. Here is a summarised translation of this conversation. Dr. Soroush, over the last few months, you have travelle […].

A Generation in the Process of Development.

Summary: Ehsan Naraqi, the advisor to the former UNESCO director-general Federico Mayor, believes that although Iran has ranked second among the Muslim nations in terms of publication, it has hit the bottom of the list in terms of international recognition. It has led to American universities have dropped Iranology from their curriculum despite the West’s […].

Ethics and Ethical Critiques.

Interview with Abdolkarim Soroush. Q: Dr Soroush, you have been away from Iran for some time and we have been deprived. The fact of the matter is, when we look at your works over the past one or two years, we see a common denominator. Ethics of the Gods is a collection of your articles that was published in 2001. Articles such as “Civil Society, Ethical […].

Democracy and Rationality.

Interview with Abdolkarim Soroush. Q: Dr Soroush! I’d like us to discuss the question of rationality. Would you be so kind as to begin by pointing out the different interpretations that there are of rationality and also mentioning your own chosen interpretation, so that we can go on from there? A: Let me first say that I don’t know what you mean by reas […].

Back to Iran.

I don’t like posting full articles or interviews unless that their reading is highly significant to Iranians and to the lay observer of Iranian affairs. That being said this is an interview published in the New Scientist concerning Soroush’s decision to return to Iran after a six year hiatus. For those of you who don’t know much about Soroush, he’s conside […].

Contraction and Expansion of Women’s Rights

Q. New religious thinking in our society has remained consistently silent on women’s issues. There may be a number of reasons for this silence : it may be that some of the thinkers involved feel that there’s no such thing as women-specific issues ; or that women’s problems will be solved when the fundamental problems of society are solved and that the more […].

The democrat [Abdolkarim Soroush].

IF IRAN’S DEMOCRATIC REFORM movement has a house intellectual, it’s Abdolkarim Soroush. IF IRAN’S DEMOCRATIC REFORM movement has a house intellectual, it’s Abdolkarim Soroush. A small, soft-spoken philosopher with fiercely expressive eyebrows, Soroush specializes in mysticism, Sufi poetry, Islamic theology, chemistry, pharmacology, and the philosophy of […].

Reason and revelation.

“Reason defines truth, justice, public interest, and humanity”. From chapter entitled “The Idea of Democratic Religious Government” in Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush (Oxford University Press, 2000), edited by Mahmoud Sadri and Ahmad Sadri. Also see editors’ introduction. Modern science explains the world […].

Islamic Democracy and Islamic Governance.

A summary of remarks by Abdolkarim Soroush and Charles Butterworth at The Middle East Institute, November 21, 2000 On November 21, MEI gathered two scholars, the Iranian thinker Abdolkarim Soroush, visiting professor at Harvard University, and Charles Butterworth, Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland, for a discussion on “Islamic […].


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