Let the occasional chalice break
Abdolkarim Soroush and Islamic liberation theology
Oct 26, 1998
Mahmoud Sadri and Ahmad Sadri 's introduction
to a volume of articles by Abdolkarim Soroush -- Reason,
Freedom and Democracy in Islam -- published by Oxford University
Press. Also see chapter entitled "The
Idea of Democratic Religious Government".
I. The Local Context
- The Icon
- The Iconoclast
- The Opus
II. The Global Context
- The Luther
- Global Secularization and the Work of Soroush
- Secularization from Within
- Secularization from Without
Abdolkarim Soroush has emerged as the foremost Iranian and Islamic political
philosopher and theologian. His sprawling intellectual project, aimed at
reconciling reason and faith, spiritual authority and political liberty,
ranges authoritatively over comparative religion, social science, and theology.
However, it is only by understanding the local context of his intellectual
endeavors that one can appreciate the universal significance of his thought.
I. The Local Context:
The persona of Abdolkarim Soroush must be examined in light of the iconic
tradition of modern Iranian intellectuals. The "iconic intellectuals"
are the producers as well as embodiments of ideas and ideals, and as such
they are held in semi-religious veneration. The main contours of this tradition
emerged in the decades preceding the Constitutional Revolution of Iran
(1905-1909.) The multiple roots of this tradition account for its unique
mixture of what Max Weber called emissary and exemplary prophecy. In both
respects, this tradition marks a radical departure from the intellectual
traditions before Iran's turn-of-the-century exposure to the West.
Iran has had a rich legacy of traditional intellectuality anchored in
religious seminaries (Ulama), the patrimonial state (Ommal), the rural
nobility (Ashraaf), and the traditional bourgeoisie (Bazaar). Because of
its marginal status and growing numbers, this last group was able to appreciate
the new ideas and ideals that were being imported, along with Samovar and
guns, from the Russian and Transcaucasian frontiers. Thus it is not surprising
that the lower layers of lay intelligentsia (especially in the northern
regions of Iran) quickly absorbed the new ideas and became the carriers
of a "mission" strikingly similar to that claimed by the Russian
"intelligentsia" (a Russian coinage, incidently).
Increasingly, modern Transcaucasian, Azeri, and later, Iranian intellectuals
emulated their Russian counterparts in their breathless and tenacious quest
to Westernize, modernize, and lead the struggle to catch up with the more
advanced countries of Europe. Besides the Russian brand of missionary intellectual
zeal, the ideal typical Persian iconic super-intellectual evinces an exemplary
trait that is French in origin. The postconstitutional generations of Iranian
students, who received their higher education in France, were profoundly
influenced by the ideals of personal commitment, individual valor and moral
courage that shaped the idealized self-image of the post-Dreyfusard French
"engaged intellectuals," a term coined during the Dreyfus affair
in the 1890s.
It was the convergence of the models of the French exemplary and Russian
missionary heroic intellectuality in Iran's thriving middle-class imagination
that produced the hybrid form of the nineteenth-century monavvarolfekr,
and later, the twentieth-century roushanfekr intellectuality. The
new self-proclaimed "enlightened" leaders laid claim to, and
soon acquired a patina of native charisma because of their alleged mastery
of modern erudition. Taking as their intellectual heroes such archetypes
as Tolstoy and Zola, the intellectual leaders of modern Iran demanded of
themselves nothing less than an unswerving missionary activism aimed at
national progress and an exemplary "j'accuse" - heroism in proclaiming
socially relevant truths against entrenched authoritarian regimes. This
certainly holds true for the radical Shiite version of "liberation
theology" elaborated and personified by Ali Shariati in the 1970s.
In their various manifestos, the contemporary flamboyant leaders of the
Marxist, Maoist, and Guevarist movements of the last quarter of the current
century (e.g., the Toudeh party, the Fadaian e Khalgh, and, the Mojahedin
e Khalgh guerrillas) consider themselves, among other things, heirs to
the mantel of leading super-intellectuality as well.
Iconic intellectuality implies not only the role of the heroic producers
of ideas, but also the equally heroic selflessness required of the consumers
of ideas. By the same token, mere professionals, scholars, academics, seminarians
and literati are excluded from the ranks of iconic roushanfekr intellectuals.
Indeed, the roushanfekr is the opposite of Kierkegaard's "scholar,"
who builds public conceptual palaces but might live in a private existential
doghouse. Private and public lives of iconic intellectuals are expected
to merge to allow a clear view of their calling: leading the way toward
reform and setting an example for the rest of the society. The iconic intellectuals
are by definition at least equal to, perhaps, in the case of some laic
thinkers, even better than their principles.
The appeal to a common mission and ideal life style did not imply the
uniformity of instruments of achieving the designated goals which depended
on individual predilections and intellectual traditions. We will argue
that three paths emerged in Iran as the nineteenth century drew to a close.
Some advocates, notably, Akhoundzadeh and Taghizadeh, chose the path of
total surrender and assimilation, which we designate as "radical laic
modernism," while others, such as Aqayev and Talebof chose an accommodative
but culturally and ideationally preservationist agenda, thus anticipating
the contemporary movement that encompasses Soroush's position, that is,
"reflexive revivalism." Both groups found themselves confronted
with a third front: the "rejectionist revivalism"of nativist,
antimodern, and anticonsitutionalist Islamists. This turn-of-the century
debate is by no means resolved; indeed, in the current cacophony of Tehran's
burgeoning free media, the continuing currency of such enlightenment ideals
as progress, development, and religious reform underscores the abiding
relevance of this trilateral debate in fin-de-siecle Iran. Abdolkarim Soroush
is an iconic intellectual who represents reflexive revivalism in this dialogue.
Understanding this context is critical for the observers in the United
States, and some European countries, where the public intellectual is an
Let us remember that Soroush started his public career as the highest-ranking
ideologue of the Islamic Republic. He was later appointed to the steering
committee of the Cultural Revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini. In the last
decade, however, he has emerged as the regime's enfant terrible
and, more recently, as its bete noire because of his trenchant criticism
of the theological, philosophical, and political underpinnings of the regime.
He has been since summarily fired from his job, barred from teaching, discouraged
from speaking in public, and periodically prevented from publishing and
traveling abroad. He is routinely threatened with assassination and is
occasionally roughed up by organized gangs of extremists known as Ansar
e Hezbollah. Yet, Soroush's defiance is not regarded as particularly heroic
in Iran. Selflessness and unbending commitment to the socially relevant
truth is par for the course of Soroush's career as a super-intellectual.
When he went abroad for a few months in 1996, after a series of violent
disturbances in his public lectures and in the wake of persistent official
harassment, there were no signs that his public would countenance his permanent
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To say that someone like Soroush fits into a pattern is not to imply
that he is just the latest product of a cultural assembly line. He is an
original, by any standard. But his uniqueness has as much to do with his
prodigious talents and extraordinary education as it does with the unique
stage of the Iranian and Islamic civilization that he represents.
To demonstrate the above it is enough to compare Soroush to some of
the earlier links in the chain of Iranian iconic intellectuals. Soroush
belongs to the genre of the "religious intellectuals." The Charisma
of the first generation of post coup d'etat super-intellectuals like Mehdi
Bazargan and Yadollah Sahabi emanated from their mastery of modern exact
sciences while maintaining and revising their lay piety in the light of
modern science. "Yes," they would aver in words and deeds "it
is possible to be religious, modern, and nationalistic all at once."
The immense popularity of Ali Shariati, who was Iran's most celebrated
iconic intellectual before Soroush, was due to his powerful fusion of the
Shiite tradition of resistance with the revolutionary ethos of the French
left in the sixties. Shariati's elegant and ebullient style of writing
and speech was unprecedented and remains unsurpassed in Iran. His nearly
hermetic and heroic lifestyle is also in line with that of an iconic intellectual.
Although Shariati, like Bazargan and Sahabi before him, was at home with
Islamic learning, he was routinely dismissed by the clergy (especially
after he challenged their toleration of the vulgarities of mass religiosity)
as unschooled in scholastics of the seminary, and when they finally locked
horns, he was excoriated as a Western-educated heretic.
Unlike all of his predecessors in the line of religious super-intellectuals,
Soroush, thanks to his firm grounding in both traditional and modern learning,
cannot be ignored by the clerical establishment. On the contrary, he occasionally
uses his mastery of the seminarian language of critical discourse to win
followers among scholars at the holy cities of Qum and Mashad. Besides
his undisputed claim to the mantle of a roushanfekr intellectual, Soroush
wears the charismatic halo of a serious traditional scholar. Even the ideologically
correct scholars of the establishment no longer challenge his scholastic
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Like Shariati before him, Soroush is quite prolific. The development
of his ideas in the past few years can be traced in a succession of articles
that he regularly publishes in Tehran's monthly literary and critical journal
Kiyan. He also remains close to the pulse of social developments
through polemical duels, addressing university students on religious and
national occasions and even delivering occasional funeral orations. The
currents of Soroush's revisionist Islam flow in three fields: the epistemology
and sociology of knowledge; philosophical anthropology and political theory;
and ethics and social criticism.
Soroush's magnum opus, is a tome entitled The Hermeneutical Expansion
and Contraction of the Theory of Shari'a. It reevaluates the Islamic Shari'a
in the light of insights garnered from the fields of jurisprudence, history
of ideas, hermeneutics, epistemology, philosophy of science, and sociology
of knowledge. In this book and in his other writings, Soroush poses such
question as, "What can we as mortals hope to know about the mind of
God, and to what extent ought we take the edicts deduced by Islamic Juristconsults
as literal and immediate divine commandments?" The clergy who have
posed similar quandaries, do not object to these discussions as such. They
are, however, outraged by Soroush's recklessness for exposing the laity
to such sensitive subjects. But this issue is itself a bone of contention
between Soroush and the seminarian establishment. Soroush criticizes the
practice of protecting humanly developed dogma by forbidding "scandalous
Soroush's philosophical anthropology starts with the question of human
nature. In his rather pessimistic view of human nature Soroush appears
to have been inspired by a modern tradition that starts with Hobbes and
finds expression in the ideas of the framers of the American constitution.
But his treatment of this tradition is quite refreshing. In his essay Let
Us Learn From History, instead of engaging in philosophical guesswork about
human nature or dismissing the question as hopelessly abstract, he takes
a direct and empirical rout: there is nothing mysterious or abstract about
human nature. It is revealed to us in history:
"We must warn against the false belief that human history could
have been more or less virtuous than it has turned out to be . . . Our
definitions of humanity need to be soberly and somberly reexamined in view
of the amount of greed, cruelty, wickedness, and ingratitude that they
have caused - all of which they have done willingly and by their nature,
not because they have been coerced or perverted."
Here Soroush gives the sober liberal view of human nature an empirical,
collective basis. Combining the bare-knuckle realism of liberal philosophers
with mystical, theological, and theosophical arguments, he softens the
pessimistic edge of this view with verses from The Koran and the poetics
"At the dawn of creation, the angels accurately divined that human
society could not be devoid of depravity and bloodshed. Nor did God fault
them for this judgment, only advising them that their knowledge is incomplete.
Hafez restates the protestation of the angels but meekly and with infinite
"How can we not lose our way in the midst of so many harvests of
When Adam was led astray by a single seed!
There is no escape from blasphemy in love's bower
If 'Bu Lahab' is absent, whom can the hell's fire devour?
Where the Chosen Adam was struck by the thunderbolt of insolence
How would it behoove us to profess our innocence?"
Soroush believes that the Rousseauesque idealism (shared by anarchists,
radical Marxists, and Islamic fundamentalists), based on the assumption
of the innate goodness of mankind, has the potential of underestimating
the staying power of social evil and of fostering the false hope that it
can be extinguished. This miscalculation could lead to disastrous projects
of social engineering of the kind undertaken by the socialist regimes.
Soroush's political philosophy remains close to the heart of the liberal
tradition, ever championing the basic values of reason, liberty, freedom,
and democracy. The main challenge is not to establish their value but to
promote them as "primary values," as independent virtues, not
handmaidens of political maxims and religious dogma. In his Reason and
Freedom, Soroush is at pains to demonstrate that freedom is itself a truth,
regardless of its performance as an instrument of attaining the truth:
Those who shun freedom as the enemy of truth and as a possible breeding
ground for wrong ideas do not realize that freedom is itself a "truth"
. . . The world is the marketplace for the exchange of ideas. We give and
take, and we trust that the ascendance of the nobler truths is worth the
sacrifice of an occasional minor truth: "As the barrel of wine shall
last, let the occasional chalice break."
Abdolkarim Soroush is also one of the boldest social critics of the
post-revolutionary Iran. As such, he has not minced words about the questionable
office of the clergy (rouhaniat) within the Islamic tradition where they
perform no sacraments nor mediate the relationship between man and God.
He has also criticized the hegemony of the clerocracy in general and also
in so far as it threatens the autonomy of the academia in Iran. Some of
these points are quite evident in his What "University Expects from
the Hozeh." In another essay, "The Three Cultures," Soroush
denounces utopian reconstructions of the "true identity" of Iran
at the expense of its Islamic, Iranian or Western components. In yet another
treatise, "Life and Virtue: the Relationship between Socioeconomic
Development and Ethics," Soroush launches a Weberian study of the
link between economic development and traditional religious ethos.
Soroush sees contemporary Iran as a society in the grip of massive disenchantment.
Twenty years ago masses of enchanted Iranians ratified the constitution
of the first Islamic republic in the hopes of realizing earthly perfection
in government. Those hopes have now turned into despair. The resurgence
of Iran's turn-of-the-century varieties of revivalism and modernism could
be attributed to these circumstances. They were exacerbated by the disappointing
end of the Iran-Iraq war, hailed at the time by the leaders as a do-or-die
crusade. Soroush is the intellectual face of reflexive revivalism in Iran.
Its social and political face can be seen in the sweeping victory of president
Khatami in 1997 (now hailed by the liberal newspapers such as Jame'eh and
Salam as the "Epic of the May 23) and in the massive turning away
of the new generation of Iranians from revolutionary rhetoric.
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II. The Global Context
The Luther of Islam?
The American journalist Robin Wright and many after her have referred
to Abdolkarim Soroush as the Luther of Islam. Whatever the aptness of such
analogies, they are notable not so much for their historical accuracy but
rather for their power of historical imagination and intercultural understanding,
otherwise woefully lacking in the Western media's voyeuristic and orientalist
interest in the Islamic world. The point is that neither theocratic rule
nor the modernizing movements aimed at religious revival, reform, and secularization
should be considered novel phenomena by the heirs of the Western Christianity.
The Christian West, has, after all, lived through the imperial papacy of
Gregory VI through Innocent III (eleventh and twelfth centuries;) and has
tasted the religious politics of Cromwell and Calvin (sixteenth century).
Thus, the upheavals in the Islamic politics in Iran and elsewhere should
seem less like exotic spectacles and more like familiar scenes from Western
Civilization's recent history. If, as the Christian West has shown, the
establishment of, and disenchantment with, a visible "City of God"
leads the way toward the "Secular City," then Islamic civilization
is on the verge of a decisive, and more importantly, familiar, breakthrough.
Indeed, in terms of his politics, Soroush is unlike the reformists of
the sixteenth century Europe, even though his writings are replete with
explicit borrowings from European theology and philosophy from Schleiermacher
and Kierkegaard to Locke and Popper. Here we must take issue with the neo-Orientalists
who dismiss Islamic liberalism as an alien and untenable epiphenomenon.
Their argument takes Moslem liberals' borrowing from the West as evidence
that they are less authentic than the anti-Western fundamentalists. But
it should be borne in mind that in opposing such liberal ideals as democracy
in favor of an Islamic "republic of virtue," fundamentalism also
follows a long antidemocratic Western tradition, expressed across the centuries
from Thrasymachus's debate with Socrates to Marx's rejection of "bourgeois
democracy." The antidemocratic stance of the 1960s Islamic revivalists
was less influenced by Islamic theology and jurisprudence than by the French
leftist rhetoric against the failings of docile bourgeois democracies.
The right-wing clerical ideal of a true Islamic community of virtue is
profoundly influenced by authoritarian interpretations of Platonic and
Aristotelian thought. The elites who took over the reigns of power in Iran
conceived of themselves more as "enlightened despots" than as
Shiite vice regents of the "occulted Imam." Those who have been
quick to point out that in its internal theoretical civil wars, Islamic
liberalism has borrowed from mainstream Western liberal theories forget
that the Islamic fundamentalists have also borrowed from Western countercurrents
of populism, fascism, anarchism, Jacobism, and Marxism.
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Global Secularization and the Work of Soroush
Let us now turn to a comparison of Soroush's project with the social-scientific
efforts to identify the nature and role of religion in the posttraditional
world. For the purposes of this discussion and in order to better understand
the universal relevance of Soroush's position, it is useful to distinguish
three interrelated concepts: modernization, secularization and reformation.
We understand modernization (or, alternatively, "rationalization")
as a process of progressive complexity and differentiation of institutions
and spheres of life under the influence of economic and technological advances
associated with the advent of capitalism. Secularization is an instance
of modernization involving the differentiation of religion from economic
and political institutions, namely separation of church and state. Secularization
can also imply a separation of religion from culture and conscience. The
two meanings of secularization can be expressed in the dichotomy of objective
vs subjective secularization (profanation). Reformation (or, alternatively,
revivalism) refers to attempts, on behalf of the religious, to anticipate,
adjust, or respond to the changes associated with objective and subjective
secularization. Thus, according to our sociological definition, not every
religious innovation would qualify as reformation or revivalism.
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Secularization from Within
Modernization, secularization, and reformation have been indigenous
to Western Christianity. Social thinkers did not expect religion to survive
the ineluctable forces of modernization and secularization. The founders
of the sociology of religion, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim (in his early career),
and Georg Simmel, expected secularization to succeed not only in separating
religion from the state (that is, objective secularization) but also in
eradicating it from culture and conscience altogether (subjective secularization
or profanation). The world, in their vision, would become increasingly
and inescapably more rationalized, intellectualized, demystified, and disenchanted.
They failed to anticipate religion's resilience and its ability to retrench
and reinvent itself. A statement in a recent Newsweek article (March 16,
1998) sums up the consensus of the contemporary exegetes of the classical
sociology of religion: "Human nature," argued the author of an
essay on the new forms of religiosity, "is afraid of spiritual vacuum."
Contemporary sociologists have acknowledged the fact of the continued existence
of religion and have tried to explain the meaning, function, and reach
of the new religiosity.
The theoretical convergence of three prominent sociologists of religion,
Daniel Bell, Peter Berger, and Robert Bellah, on the nature and future
of religion in the post traditional world, which is indicative of a broader
agreement among sociologists, provides a social-scientific perspective
from which the views of Abdolkarim Soroush can be better understood. For
these theories hold not only for the Western societies but also for all
societies that confront modernization and secularization. The general sociological
consensus concerning the contours of the new religiosity may be summarized
First: The increasing compartmentalization of religion in the modern
world as a result of secularization is a foregone conclusion. Religion,
in other words, has clearly lost its monopoly on public perception, morality,
and conscience. Modernization and secularization have made religious exclusion
or absorption of competing ways of life and belief nearly impossible. Hence
the inevitable and simultaneous emergence of tolerance and pluralism on
the outside and ecumenism and voluntarism on the inside of the religious
sphere. Religion has become "deobjectified"; it has become a
matter of preference in the contemporary "faith market."
Second: Secularization has socio-political and cultural-psychological
aspects. The original meaning of the term secularization, that is, "removal
of territory from control of ecclesiastic authorities," signifies
the institutional separation of church and state. Social and political
functions of the church are thus relegated to other institutions. This
stage of the process is understood as objective secularization. Subjective
secularization or "profanation" involves an infiltration of the
cultural practices and personal perceptions by the profane. While the pioneers
of the sociology of religion found this latter and more thoroughgoing evisceration
of religion to be the inevitable result of secularization, contemporary
sociologists of religion have concluded that the continued presence and
bourgeoning of religion does not support such a strong theory of secularization.
Few dispute, either doctrinally or sociologically, the reality and, indeed,
desirability of objective secularization in the sense of a separation of
church and state. Some thinkers have even gone so far as to claim that
secularization is an integral part of the historical mission of religion.
It is the scope and depth of subjective secularization or profanation that
is in question. It is clear, for example, that the degree of profanation
varies with locations, classes, genders, and cultures. There is, then,
an asymmetry between secularization of structures and secularization of
conscience. Although subjective secularization or profanation has succeeded
in the West more than in any other part of the world, its advance, even
in the West, has been checked -- even reversed -- in the recent past.
Third: the new definitions of religion take seriously the desire of
human beings for order, purpose, justice, and salvation. These are issues
that the founders of the sociology of religion neglected. Daniel Bell attributes
the continued success of "camp-fire evangelism" in the United
States, (and similar movements elsewhere) to a universal "existential
need." Religion is anchored, not in the need for social control and
social integration (per Marx and Durkheim) nor in the innate requirements
of human nature (Schleiermacher and Otto). Rather, it is rooted in "the
awareness of men of their finiteness and the inexorable limits of their
power, and the consequent effort to find a coherent answer to reconcile
them to human condition." Contemporary sociology perceives religion
as a set of coherent answers to the core existential questions that confront
every human group. Thus, the social function of religion is no longer its
Is there a future for religion? Contemporary sociologists agree that
religion as the sole organizer and arbiter of human society and consciousness
has vanished forever. The solid "sacred canopy" has dissolved.
It has been replaced by a patchwork of local faiths. The sacred seems irreversibly
divorced from the secular. However, the demise of the supernatural in the
public sphere is counteracted by its upsurge in the individual and group
quest for transcendence. Religion in this sense is not only alive and well;
it is thriving.
The foregoing views or the relationship between modernity and religion,
their Western provenance notwithstanding, dovetail with those of Abdolkarim
Soroush. But there is a significant and instructive difference: for modern
sociologists of religion the above conclusions are "descriptive:"
Secularization is firmly in place but profanation has not followed suit.
Religion has survived in new forms, and sociology seeks to explain this
phenomenon. Soroush's work, however, is "prescriptive." He envisions
the possibility and the desirability of secularization of an Islamic society
without a concomitant profanation of its culture. It is not hard to imagine
that in the Iranian intellectual milieu such a doctrine would come under
attack not only by radical laic modernists but also by rejectionist revivalists.
Neither can envisage separation of secularization and profanation, as we
shall argue in the final part of this essay.
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Secularization from Without
Wherever modernization and secularization are (or are perceived as)
foreign elements, we can expect three distinct reactions. First, there
will be crusades to "overcome the modern" in the name of the
preservation of traditional identity and truth. Modernization and secularization
are thus vilified, even demonized, as unnatural, conspiratorial, and alien
intrusions upon indigenous beliefs. Antimodern movements tend to advocate
an authoritarian society and culture in the name of preserving the eternal
and the sacred tradition. We have identified these, for lack of a better
term, as varieties of "rejectionist revivalism." They have frequently
turned into nativist, purist, and militantly romantic movements with religious
or traditionalist overtones. A second reaction to modernism and secularism
may be described as "reflexive revivalism" which aims not so
much at overcoming the modern as to accommodating it. Reflexive revivalism
acknowledges the force and sweep of modernization and secularization and
shows a willingness to cast it as a desirable and divinely preordained
destiny. It thus tries to separate the universal, inevitable, and beneficial
aspects of modernization and secularization from its culturally specific,
imperialist, and "degenerate" properties. The third reaction
is "radical laic modernism" that favors the wholesale surrender
of the native culture and values to modernity.
Inevitably, the pioneers of reflexive revivalism, come under attack
both by the guardians of rejectionist revivalism and the advocates of radical
laic modernism. Neither of the last two groups believe in the possibility
of secularization without profanation. Both consider profanation inevitable
once secularization sets in. The rejectionists, fearing the demise of religion
reject the project of secularization without profanation. The laic modernists
for reasons of their own agree that the two should not be decoupled.
Soroush belongs to a relatively new and sophisticated brand of reflexive
revivalism within Islam that has its origin in the works of the late Mohammad
Iqbal Lahori. Soroush's views, cognizant of the forces of modernization
and secularization, informed by Western history and theology, and influenced
by revolutionary and reform movements in the Islamic world, are not only
illustrative and instructive from an academic point of view; they are also
capable of revolutionizing Muslim theology and mass religiosity. It is
no secret that neither the laic modernism of militaristic elites (for whom
the Algerian junta presiding over a tragic civil war sets a poignant example)
nor the rejectionist populism of traditional leaders (exemplified in certain
elements of the Iranian and Sudanese experiences) have been able to offer
a viable, durable, or desirable course for the future of the Islamic world.
We believe that Soroush's bold synthesis points to an alternative and increasingly
We are indebted to Abdolkarim Soroush for his generous disposition in
discussing the meaning and context of his works and the fine points of
translation in the summers of 1996 and 1997 in Iran and during his visit
to the United States in the winter of 1997. We must also thank Ahmad Sheikzadeh,
Ali Aliabadi, and Charles Kurzman who gave us much encouragement as we
labored on translating, annotating, and editing the text. Sincere thanks
are also due to Bill Kaufman who has carefully read the manuscript and
offered many insightful suggestions.
Lake Forest, Illinois
About the authors
Mahmoud Sadri is Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas
Women's University. He has a doctorate in sociology from New York's New
School for Social Research. He is the coauthor, with Aruthur Stinchcombe,
of an ariticle in "Durkheim's Divison of Labor: 1893-1993" Presses
Universitaires de France, 1993. For more information see his
page at the Texas Women's University.
Ahmad Sadri who is currently Associate Professor of Sociology
and Anthropology at Lake Forest College, received his BA and MA degrees
from the University of Tehran and his Ph.D from the New School for Social
Research, New York. He is the author of "Max Weber's Sociology of
Intellectuals" (Oxford University Press, 1992, 1994). For more information
page at Lake Forest College.