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IRAN'S 1979 ISLAMIC REVOLUTION: THE RELIGIOUS BACKLASH

Democracy Futures Seminar | Sydney Democracy Network

6th September, 12:30 – 2pm, Dr Naser Ghobadzadeh

Buoyed by their triumphant revolution in 1979, Iranian Islamists promptly converted their popularity into efforts to eliminate all political opponents. Nearly four decades later, their monopoly of political power has enabled them to block the formation of an effective secular and/or anti-religious opposition. The main exception to this trend has been the Green Movement, which since 2009 has been fuelled by reformist religious discourse, rather than by non-religious ideologies. Although this movement has to date remained largely ineffectual, striking is the way it has been nourished by well-developed conceptual re-articulations of religion-state relations.    This seminar will show how the groundwork for this re-articulation was laid by religious intellectuals and jurists who, disillusioned by their lived experience of the Islamic state, initiated a move towards a new Islamic reformation. It will explore the ways in which this reformation seeks to repudiate the politico-religious foundations of the Islamic revolution by imagining a serious if paradoxical counter-revolutionary alternative to the Islamic state: a secular democracy that is enables genuine religiosity to flourish

 

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