Description : Scores of books and articles have been published, addressing one or another aspect of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Missing from this body of scholarship, however, has been a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual and ideological cornerstones of one of the most dramatic revolutions in our time. In this remarkable volume, Hamid Dabashi brings together, in a sustained and engagingly written narrative, the leading revolutionaries who have shaped the ideological disposition of this cataclysmic event. Dabashi has spent over ten years studying the writings, in their original Persian and Arabic, of the most influential Iranian clerics and thinkers.Examining the revolutionary sentiments and ideas of such figures as Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Ali Sharicati, Morteza Motahhari, Sayyad Abolhasan Bani-Sadr, and finally the Ayatollah Khomeini, the work also analyzes the larger historical and theoretical implications of any construction of the Islamic Ideology. Carefully located in the social and intellectual context of the four decades preceding the 1979 revolution, Theology of Discontent is the definitive treatment of the ideological foundations of the Islamic Revolution, with particular attention to the larger, more enduring ramifications of this revolution for radical Islamic revivalism in the entire Muslim world.This volume will be of interest to Islamicists, Middle East historians and specialists, as well as scholars and students of liberation theologies, comparative religious revolutions, and mass collective behavior. Bruce Lawrence of Duke University calls this volume a superb and unprecedented study.... In brilliant figural strokes, he arrays EuroAmerican sociological theory as the crucial backdrop of a deeper understanding of contemporary Iranian history.
Description : Hamid Dabashi’s 1997 work Theology of Discontent reveals a creative thinker capable not only of understanding how an argument is built, but also of redefining old issues in new ways. The Iranian Revolution of 1978–9 was front-page news in the West, and in some ways remains so today. Though it was an uprising against authoritarian royal rule, with a coalition of modernisers and Islamists, the revolution saw the birth of a new Islamic Republic that seemed to reject pro-Western democracy. Dabashi wanted to analyze the real reasons for this change, while examining how Islamic ideologies contributed to the revolution and the republic that followed. Theology of Discontent examines different Islamic thinkers, analyzing how views with seemingly little in common contributed to the modern Iranian belief system. Beyond its insightful analytical dissection of these eight thinkers, Theology of Discontent also shows Dabashi’s creative thinking skills. Reframing the debates about Iran’s relationship with the West, he traced the ways in which Iranian identity formed in reactive opposition to Western ideas. In many ways, Dabashi suggested, Iran was trapped in a cycle of deliberately asserting its difference from the West, a process that was fundamental to the development of its own unique brand of revolutionary Islamism.
Description : Reinventing Khomeini offers a new interpretation of the political battles that paved the way for reform in Iran. Brumberg argues that these conflicts did not result from a sudden ideological shift; nor did the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997 really defy the core principles of the Islamic Revolution. To the contrary, the struggle for a more democratic Iran can be traced to the revolution itself, and to the contradictory agendas of the revolution's founding father, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A complex figure, Khomeini was a fervent champion of Islam, but while he sought a Shi'ite vision of clerical rule under one Supreme Leader, he also strove to mesh that vision with an implicitly Western view of mass participatory politics. The intense magnetism and charisma of the ayatollah obscured this paradox. But reformers in Iran today, while rejecting his autocratic vision, are reviving the constitutional notions of government that he considered, and even casting themselves as the bearers of his legacy. In Reinventing Khomeini, Brumberg proves that the ayatollah is as much the author of modern Iran as he is the symbol of its fundamentalist past.
Description : As recent events indicate, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Islamic politics more broadly have been deeply influential in world affairs. Hamid Dabashi has been a highly visible and prominent commentator on these affairs, explaining, interpreting, and providing a critical perspective. This volume gathers together his most influential and insightful writings. As one of the foremost contemporary public intellectuals and scholars of our time, Dabashi's interests and writings span subjects ranging from Islamic philosophy and political ideology to Iranian art and Persian literature, from Sufism and Orientalism to Iranian and world cinema and contemporary Arab and Muslim visual arts; and from postcolonial theory and globalization to imperialism and public affairs. There is a direct connection between his theoretical innovations and the angle of his public interventions on the urgent global issues of the day. This book brings together some of his most important writings, especially those that offer new ways of understanding Islam, Iran, Islamist ideology, global art, and the condition of global modernity. The book shows the underlying conceptual themes that unify Dabashi's wide-ranging and brilliantly insightful corpus. Dabashi combines deep knowledge of the subject matter about which he writes, and highly refined sociological, hermeneutical, and cultural interpretive skills, moving far beyond the limiting, distorted, and intellectually stifling character of reigning absolutist conventions. He places existing authoritative frameworks under close scrutiny in order to produce novel and penetrating insights. These essays reflect historical and geographical worlds that are best viewed when Hamid Dabashi's work is read as a whole, which this one- volume work makes possible for the first time.
Description : This book is a radical piece of counter-intuitive rethinking of the clash of civilizations theory and global politics. In this richly detailed criticism of contemporary politics, Hamid Dabashi argues that after 9/11 we have not seen a new phase in a long running confrontation between Islam and the West, but that such categories have in fact collapsed and exhausted themselves. The West is no longer a unified actor and Islam is ideologically depleted in its confrontation with colonialism. Rather we are seeing the emergence of the US as a lone superpower, and a confrontation between a form of imperial globalized capital and the rising need for a new Islamic theodicy. The combination of political salience and theoretical force makes Islamic Liberation Theology a cornerstone of a whole new generation of thinking about political Islamism and a compelling read for anyone interested in contemporary Islam, current affairs and US foreign policy. Dabashi drives his well-supported and thoroughly documented points steadily forward in an earnest and highly readable style.
Description : Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahhari was a significant figure in the movement which brought the Islamic Republic of Iran into being. Mutahhari, a student of Ayatollah Khomeini and particularly close to his mentor, had broad theoretical concerns regarding religion, society and economy. He is generally considered as a prominent contemporary intellectual figure among the Iranian and Shi'ite scholars of the time. This book describes the life and works of this philosopher, jurist, preacher and writer, who was educated in the Qum Seminary and worked in Tehran.
Description : We live in a time when the most appalling social injustices and unjust human sufferings no longer seem to generate the moral indignation and the political will needed both to combat them effectively and to create a more just and fair society. If God Were a Human Rights Activist aims to strengthen the organization and the determination of all those who have not given up the struggle for a better society, and specifically those that have done so under the banner of human rights. It discusses the challenges to human rights arising from religious movements and political theologies that claim the presence of religion in the public sphere. Increasingly globalized, such movements and the theologies sustaining them promote discourses of human dignity that rival, and often contradict, the one underlying secular human rights. Conventional or hegemonic human rights thinking lacks the necessary theoretical and analytical tools to position itself in relation to such movements and theologies; even worse, it does not understand the importance of doing so. It applies the same abstract recipe across the board, hoping that thereby the nature of alternative discourses and ideologies will be reduced to local specificities with no impact on the universal canon of human rights. As this strategy proves increasingly lacking, this book aims to demonstrate that only a counter-hegemonic conception of human rights can adequately face such challenges.
Description : Signs, Solidarities, & Sociology addresses the formation and fragmentation of identity in today's postmodern world. Informed by the conceptual convergence in the theories of Durkheim, Peirce, Mead, and Lacan, this book surveys the range of twentieth-century sociology to deconstruct those favored nostrums of subjective meaning, personal power, and autonomous selfhood that comprise its semantics of agency. Revealed beneath this semantic screen is the triad of pragmatic codes--premodern affiliation, modern calibration, and postmodern globalization--that govern the social construction of the self. While the ill-comprehended confluence of these three signification codes in the present world situation can indeed fragment personal identity, their formal structural linkages, as shown in this book, may inform a truly postmodern, globally applicable science of culture.
Description : A surprising, gripping narrative depicting the thinkers whose ideas shaped contemporary China, India, and the Muslim world A little more than a century ago, as the Japanese navy annihilated the giant Russian one at the Battle of Tsushima, original thinkers across Asia, working independently, sought to frame a distinctly Asian intellectual tradition that would inform and inspire the continent's anticipated rise to dominance. Asian dominance did not come to pass, and those thinkers—Tagore, Gandhi, and later Nehru in India; Liang Qichao and Sun Yatsen in China; Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Abdurreshi al Ibrahim in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire—are seen as outriders from the main anticolonial tradition. But Pankaj Mishra shows that it was otherwise in this stereotype-shattering book. His enthralling group portrait of like minds scattered across a vast continent makes clear that modern Asia's revolt against the West is not the one led by faith-fired terrorists and thwarted peasants but one with deep roots in the work of thinkers who devised a view of life that was neither modern nor antimodern, neither colonialist nor anticolonialist. In broad, deep, dramatic chapters, Mishra tells the stories of these figures, unpacks their philosophies, and reveals their shared goal of a greater Asia. Right now, when the emergence of a greater Asia seems possible as at no previous time in history, From the Ruins of Empire is as necessary as it is timely—a book essential to our understanding of the world and our place in it.
Description : An overview of predominantly Muslim societies that argues that Islamism has failed to provide Islamic societies with any feasible alternative to undertaking fundamental political and social reforms.