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Visiting Speaker: Dr Mateo Farzaneh, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, USA

Shiite Clerics and Political Modernization in Iran

Sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Islam

Event details

In this book presentation, Prof Farzaneh will discuss the role of Islamic jurisprudence in political reform in Iran.  Throughout the 1800s, Iran was challenged to politically modernize in order to undo the failed policies of its corrupt/absolutist monarchical system.  Introduction of Western-style constitutionalism by secular Iranians brought about the establishment of the Islamic world’s first parliament in Iran in 1906.  However, that was the beginning of a long struggle between the proponents and the opponents of rule of law as a new political reality.  Mullah Muhammad Kazim Khurasani led a group of high-ranking Iranian Shiite clerics living in Iraq and began a transnational clerical movement in support of constitutionalism with the objective to sever the political influence of Muslim clerics and leaving “modern” politics to the elected parliamentarians.  This talk is based on Prof Farzaneh’s new book, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani.

Prof Farzaneh received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He taught world and Middle Eastern history at Santa Barbara City College and California State Fullerton before joining the history department at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 2010.


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