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On the Sociology of Islam: Lectures Hardcover – April 15, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Persian (translation)

About the Author

Hamid Algar, the translator was born in 1940 in England and studied Arabic and Persian languages and Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. Since 1965 he has been teaching in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is now Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies. Professor Algar has written extensively on the religious history of Iran.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 133 pages
  • Publisher: Mizan Press (April 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933782004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933782006
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Matthew Smith on May 17, 2011
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This is a very good look at this important Iranian thinkers views. These lectures are a great sampling that illustrates just how revolutionary Shariati was. Shariati took no prisoners in his approach to intellectual and religious pursuits and teaching. He not only took on the regime but attacked the entrenched religious establishment as well. In this book some of his most scathing criticism is for the religious leaders in Iran. Right from the beginning he takes on these leaders and teachers, and criticizes them for helping to keep the masses ignorant not just of spiritual matters but in all things.

This is where Shariati was truly revolutionary; he spoke to the people in a language they could understand. His goal was to lift up the people spiritually and intellectually, and the reason why he is so influential, and remains so, is because of his ability to translate complex ideas into simple language. His was not a top down approach but a bottom up approach designed to enlighten the masses so that they would demand change of the status quo and force the religious leaders out of their lethargy as well as bring down the parasitic regime of Reza Pahlavi.

This is the best example of Shariati's ideas. It shows his intellectual approach as well as explaining how he blends his religion in with his intellectual ideologies. It gives the reader a good picture of how this man thought and how he developed his ideas and created this symbiosis between Western philisophy and scientific studies and Iranian Shi'ism.

This is one of the most influential Iranians of the last hundred years. His importance rivals that of Khomeini, and without Shariati there very well might not have been a Khomeini.
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This work, like all of Shariati's other works is exceptional. Shariati does a good job uncovering the divine symbolism in the Holy Prophet's life. Furthermore, Shariati incorporates the principles of sociology into this symbolism. This is a great book for everybody.
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Shariati's style is breathtaking and takes you step by step throughout a subject that an entire islamic nation seems to be confused about.
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