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Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush Hardcover – April 20, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0195128123 ISBN-10: 0195128125 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This selection of [Khatami's] writings reveals a genuinely liberal intellect rooted in Soroush's Iranian and Islamic culture but at home with Western thought...his statements are penetrating and coherent." --Foreign Affairs


",,,the major significance of these writings is the manner in which Western ideas of the prominence of reason on the one hand and a judgment of the intellectual hopelessness of post-modernism on the other hand leads to the affirmation of belief."--Middle East Studies Association Bulletin


"Soroush's call for the unabashed application of reason to all the problems of the Muslim community is a profoundly liberating approach to religious and intellectual modernization."--Social Epistemology Journal of Knowledge, Culture, & Policy


Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Persian
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195128125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128123
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Jason Alexan on September 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Undoubtedly, this text constitutes an essential contribution to the discourse of ideological resistance within contemporary Iranian society. Soroush, as a phenomenally visible public intellectual, has commanded an unrivaled status among those more conservative participants in the revolutionary cause, although the extent to which his writings can potentially incite a tangible political movement remains to be seen. With respect to this particular compilation, the exercise of translation is certainly exceptional and the readability with which the inherent complexity of Soroush's fusion of Islamic theology and modern philosophy is conveyed throughout the course of the book proves admirable. Nevertheless, this text warrants one primary criticism in that it fails to provide a theoretical contextualization of Soroush's thoughts amidst the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. More precisely, there is a definite need for further elaboration on the relationship of Soroush's intellectual contributions to the socioeconomic and cultural state of Iran as we now confront it, the nation's stace vis a vis the project of modernity, and the global marginalization which the country has been compelled to endure at the hands of an authoritarian theocratic apparatus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kashif Hasnie on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This selection of Soroush's writings reveals a genuinely liberal intellect rooted in his Iranian and Islamic culture but at home with Western thought, toward which he is neither aggressive nor apologetically defensive.

Soroush, who has gained a following among Iranian students and even a few of the mullahs, cites the likes of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Muhammad Iqbal, J?rgen Habermas, and Alexis de Tocqueville as often as the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad(SAW). That might seem a recipe for a rambling, rootless philosophy, but his statements are thoughtful, penetrating and coherent. Although some observers have dubbed him the Luther of Islam, he is perhaps better seen as Islam's Erasmus, since he is carefully working within the system.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amina Henriksen on January 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Never mind the reviewer from Qom who attempted to write a critical review... He evidently never read the book.

I found Mr. Soroush's book to be well researched, cogently argued, eloquently written, and... touching comprehensively on the topics in the title. The author has spent a considerable part of his life researching not only Islamic philosophy, but also philosophy of science, and it shows. He brings rationality and science back to discussions of Islam (although he is not alone).

If you are not open to an honest discussion on these topics - particularly Islam - don't bother.
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