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Beyond Shariati: Modernity, Cosmopolitanism, and Islam in Iranian Political Thought by Siavash Saffari, 2017, Cambridge University Press

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Ali Shariati (1933–77) has been called by many the 'ideologue of the Iranian Revolution'. An inspiration to many of the revolutionary generation, Shariati's combination of Islamic political thought and Left-leaning ideology continues to influence both in Iran and across the wider Muslim world. In this book, Siavash Saffari examines Shariati's long-standing legacy, and how new readings of his works by contemporary 'neo-Shariatis' have contributed to a deconstruction of the false binaries of Islam/modernity, Islam/West, and East/West. Saffari argues that through their critique of Eurocentric meta narratives on the one hand, and the essentialist conceptions of Islam on the other, Shariati and neo-Shariatis have carved out a new space in Islamic thought beyond the traps of Orientalism and Occidentalism. This unique perspective will hold great appeal to researchers of the politics and intellectual thought of post-revolutionary Iran and the greater Middle East.


Reviews & endorsements:

'Beyond Shariati signals the opening horizons of a fertile critical thinking to come.'
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York

'By focusing on the Iranian thinker, Dr Ali Shariati and his influence on modernist thinkers in Iran and beyond in the Muslim world, Siavash Saffari has challenged prevailing theses that privilege Eurocentric analysis of the history of modernization in the global context … No student of modern Islam or Iran can afford to ignore this valuable contribution.'
Raewyn Connell, Professor Emerita, University of Sydney

'In recent times, the relation between Western modernity and Islam has been a prominent topic of social-theoretical discussions … By focusing attention on the Iranian intellectual Ali Shariati and his later followers (the 'neo-Shariatis'), Saffari shows that customary binaries – such as 'Western universalism' vs 'Islamic parochialism' – are hasty abstractions and also neglect a crucial geopolitical binary: that between center and periphery, between colonizers and colonized.'
Fred Dallmayr, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

'By focusing on the Iranian thinker, Dr Ali Shariati, and his influence on modernist thinkers in Iran and beyond in the Muslim world, Siavash Saffari has challenged prevailing theses that privilege Eurocentric analysis of the history of modernization in the global context … No student of modern Islam or Iran can afford to ignore this valuable contribution.'
Abdulaziz Sachedina, George Mason University, Virginia



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