Since its revolution in 1979, Iran has been viewed as the bastion of radical Islam and a sponsor of terrorism. The focus on its volatile internal politics and its foreign relations has, according to Kamrava, distracted attention from more subtle transformations which have been taking place there in the intervening years. With the death of Ayatollah Khomeini a more relaxed political environment opened up in Iran, which encouraged intellectual and political debate between learned elites and religious reformers. What emerged from these interactions were three competing ideologies which Kamrava categorises as conservative, reformist and secular. As the book aptly demonstrates, these developments, which amount to an intellectual revolution, will have profound and far-reaching consequences for the future of the Islamic republic, its people and very probably for countries beyond its borders. This thought-provoking account of the Iranian intellectual and cultural scene will confound stereotypical views of Iran and its mullahs.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 450 g
Dimensions: 228 x 151 x 18 mm
"Relying on interviews with Iranian intellectuals and Persian-language sources, Kamrava (Georgetown Univ.) has written an erudite, sophisticated book about the three major intellectual currents in Iran: religious conservative, religious reformist, and secular modernist. He identifies principal personalities and philosophical underpinnings within each of these contending discourses. The strengths and weaknesses of each discourse are assessed and analyzed in detail.... Highly recommended." - Choice
"Kamrava's work is valuable as it exposes readers to many intellectuals who are virtually unknown outside of Iran and helps provide a deeper understanding of the more familiar ones.... [I]t offers an essential overview of the country's three major currents of political thought. Furthermore, the author has tackled a delicate and emotionally charged debate with tact, respect, and objectivity." - American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences