Political Islam, Iran, and the Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 6, 2010 - Social Science
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Ali Mirsepassi's book presents a powerful challenge to the dominant media and scholarly construction of radical Islamist politics, and their anti-Western ideology, as a purely Islamic phenomenon derived from insular, traditional and monolithic religious 'foundations'. It argues that the discourse of political Islam has strong connections to important and disturbing currents in Western philosophy and modern Western intellectual trends. The work demonstrates this by establishing links between important contemporary Iranian intellectuals and the central influence of Martin Heidegger's philosophy. We are also introduced to new democratic narratives of modernity linked to diverse intellectual trends in the West and in non-Western societies, notably in India, where the ideas of John Dewey have influenced important democratic social movements. As the first book to make such connections, it promises to be an important contribution to the field and will do much to overturn some pervasive assumptions about the dichotomy between East and West.
  

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Contents

Political Islams Romance with the West
1
Intellectuals and the Politics of Despair
21
The Crisis of the Nativist Imagination
44
Modernity beyond Nativism and Universalism
67
The Dark Side of Being and Belonging
85
Democracy and Religion in the Thought of John Dewey
129
Enlightenment and Moral Politics
157
Conclusion
199
Notes
209
Index
225
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About the author (2010)

Ali Mirsepassi is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Sociology at the Gallatin School, New York University. His publications include Democracy in Modern Iran (2010) and Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran (2000).

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