Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution
Unlike much of the instant analysis that appeared at the time of the Iranian revolution, Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution is based upon extensive fieldwork carried out in Iran. Michael M. J. Fischer draws upon his rich experience with the mullahs and their students in the holy city of Qum, composing a picture of Iranian society from the inside—the lives of ordinary people, the way that each class interprets Islam, and the role of religion and religious education in the culture. Fischer’s book, with its new introduction updating arguments for the post-Revolutionary period, brings a dynamic view of a society undergoing metamorphosis, which remains fundamental to understanding Iranian society in the early twenty-first century.
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Page xxvi - Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.
Page xxvi - The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never yet existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honoured disguise and this borrowed language.