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Educated in Mashhad, Iran, and Paris, France, the late Ali Shariati (1933-1977) produced volumes of work within the areas of sociology, philosophy, and history. Because he was officially censored by the state, he often deployed allegorical concepts to maneuver around such restrictions. In the face of fierce opposition, he continued to struggle against the Pahlavi regime, enduring years of incarceration – occasionally in solitary confinement – exile, and the loss of his meager income. Despite this, he remained dedicated to the liberational potential of Islam, viewing it as an emancipatory force in politics, economics, culture, and religion. Shariati’s social theory is not confined to the Iranian context or the Islamic World. On the contrary, we consider his critical social theory, with its conceptual capacity to transcend the limited parameters set by Eurocentric theorists, to be rich with potential, even outside of the Islamic world. Far from rejecting the Western world, Shariati encouraged his students to study the intellectual traditions of the West while simultaneously highlighting the richness of Islam and the heritage of Iran. His multi-faceted approach to critical social theory is welcomed in a world that has increasingly collapsed into uniformity. Throughout his adult life, he disturbed the illusions and false-peace that animated the already-existing society. This is one of the most important reasons why he was considered subversive both by the political establishment and institutionalized religious authority. He relentlessly challenged the inherited structure of traditional religion, and by extension its worldview, authority, and the prescribed codes of conduct, all of which were designed to reinforce and reproduce the socio-economic and political structure that benefited the few over the many. As such, both his theoretical work and praxis can be witnessed as a revolutionary act, as his critical thought propels us to create a world that embodies the highest of our ideals. Throughout his work, Shariati stood firm against “stupefaction,” a notion that occupies a central place in Shariati’s critical social theory. He treats stupefaction as the foundational process that facilitates colonialism, despotism, exploitation, alienation, and many other problems that are not only confined to the Muslim World, but rather concern all of us as part of the human species.
Paperback: 152 Pages.
Published: November, 2023
Also available through:
Lulu (US & International): Introduction to the Emancipatory Social Philosophy of Ali Shariati
|Dimensions||9 × 6 × .5 in|
|Table of Contents||
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Radical Interpretive Hermeneutics as Methodology: Shariati's Methodology for the Study of Religion in General and Islam in Particular
Chapter 3: Cultural Critique as Resistance and Emancipatory Strategy in the Radical Social Theory of Shariati
Chapter 4: Concept of Stupefaction: The Sociology of Religion in the Context of the anti/Post-Colonial Tradition in the Shariati Reading
Chapter 5: "Bridled" (Book) and "Hollowed" (Pooch), as Colonial Outcomes in the Social Theory of Ali Shariati
Chapter 6: Equality and Social Justice in Shariati's Critical Social Theory
Chapter 7: Imagining the Critique in Critical Theory
Chapter 8: Shariati on the Concept of Revolution