Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush

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Oxford University Press, Apr 20, 2000 - Religion - 254 pages
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Abdolkarim Soroush has emerged as one of the leading moderate revisionist thinkers of the Muslim world. He and his contemporaries in other Muslim countries are shaping what may become Islam's equivalent of the Christian Reformation: a period of questioning traditional practices and beliefs and, ultimately, of upheaval. Presenting eleven of his essays, this volume makes Soroush's thought readily available in English for the first time. The essays set forth his views on such matters as the freedom of Muslims to interpret the Qur'an, the inevitability of change in religion, the necessity of freedom of belief, and the compatibility of Islam and democracy. Throughout, Soroush emphasizes the rights of individuals in their relationship with both government and God, explaining that the ideal Islamic state can only be defined by the beliefs and will of the majority.
 

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Contents

An Interview
3
Theological Approaches
26
The Relationship between Socioeconomic Development and Ethics
39
4 The Sense and Essence of Secularism
54
5 Doctrine and Justification
69
6 Reason and Freedom
88
7 The Ethics of the Gods
105
8 The Idea of Democratic Religious Government
122
A Discourse on Religion and Democracy
131
10 The Three Cultures
156
11 What the University Expects from the Hawzeh
171
12 Let Us Learn from History
184
Notes
199
Selected References
227
Index
230
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About the author (2000)

Mahmoud Sadri is Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas Women's University. Ahmad Sadri is Associate Professor of Sociology at Lake Forest College.

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