Presently the circles of the Iranian intelligentsia witness the gradual growth of at least two discourses on political secularism. These discourses have significant philosophical as well as political contents:
a. what I wish to call the strict secularist discourse aspires to take religious “truth-claims” off the public sphere. For the strictly secular intellectuals religious claims should reside in the private sphere since their truth-content is subjective.
b. to the participants in the second discourse, secularism implies that reason alone is able to know good and evil: justice is defined beyond the realm of revelation. Therefore, it is Islam that must match itself with ideas such as justice and democracy and not vice-versa.
In my presentation I shall critically examine the contribution of each discourse to the opening of a democratic horizon in Iran.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Alireza Shomali is scheduled to present this talk on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. in President’s Dining Room.