God and Juggernaut : Iran's Intellectual Encounter with Modernity

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-06-01
  • Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr
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Farzin Vahdat has written a trenchant analysis of the intellectual discourse of modernity in Iran. Although there have been several recent studies about Iranian intellectuals, this volume is unique in that it focuses almost entirely on intellectual discourse among the clergy.Vahdat first provides us with a solid foundation for understanding the key Critical Theory concept of subjectivity -- especially as expounded in the writings of Jurgen Habermas. Then, he successfully shows how one Western philosophical approach does have universal applicability by demonstrating the concern of Iranian theorists such as Shariati, Motahhari, Khomeini, and Sorush with human subjectivity.By engaging the major theoretical discourses of modernity, the author attempts for the first time in a non-Western context to address some of the central theoretical issues involved in modernity and Iran's experience of these issues. As such, this study can contribute to a profound understanding of modernity and its development in a Middle Eastern context. This book is an important addition to the growing body of work in Global Studies and Critical Theory as well as on contemporary Iran.

Author Biography

Farzin Vahdat's articles have appeared in Critique, Journal of Iranian Research and Analysis, and Scandinavian Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Comparative Religion at Tufts University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
The Nature of Modernity
PART ONE I Iran's Experiment with Modernity 25(104)
The Dawn of Modernity in Iran
Positivist Subjectivity and Universalizable Subjectivity
The Eclipse of Universalizable Subjectivity and the Quest for a Collective Subject
PART TWO I Islamic Discourses and Modernity 129(83)
Islamic Revolutionary Thought
The Self as Mediated Subjectivity
Postrevolutionary Discourses
The Contraction and Expansion of Subjectivity
Conclusion 212(9)
Appendix 221(20)
Works Cited 241(14)
Index 255

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