By Sasan Tavassoli
The interface among the present Shi‘ite panorama and Christian considering is of the best importance for the transferring political and spiritual dynamics of the center East. Sasan Tavassoli right here examines Iranian Shi‘ite thinkers’ encounters with Christian inspiration because the Islamic revolution of 1979, and offers perception into the cultural and highbrow weather surrounding Christian-Muslim discussion in modern Iran. The literature on Christianity in Iran unearths quite a lot of methods and attitudes, and Tavassoli demonstrates that conventional polemics are giving technique to a extra descriptive and subjective figuring out of Christian inspiration. He additionally reports Muslim-Christian discussion and learn carried out and supported by means of governmental in addition to non-governmental businesses, and provides an in depth exam, with interviews, of the paintings of 3 fashionable liberal spiritual intellectuals--Abdol Karim Soroush, Mostafa Malekian and Mojtahed Shabestari. putting modern Shi‘ite proposal within the extensive old context of pre- and post-revolution Iran, Tavassoli relates concrete non secular, cultural and socio-political realities to the subjects and orientations within the newest part of the Shi‘i Islam-Christianity come upon, and provides clean perception into the dynamism of up to date Islam and the spiritual complexities of the Muslim global.
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Extra info for Christian Encounters with Iran: Engaging Muslim Thinkers After the Revolution
61 Shi’i Emphasis on Rationalism One final aspect of Shi’i identity in Iran that bears directly on the theme of this book is the role accorded to rationality and philosophy in this tradition. ” He then writes, In the same way that from the beginning Shi’ism played an effective role in the formation of Islamic philosophical thought, it was also a principle factor in the further development and propagation of philosophy and the Islamic sciences. Although after Ibn Rushd philosophy disappeared in the Sunni world, it continued to live in Shi’ism.
Iranians are taught classical poetry from the earliest time in their education. Thus poetry is a powerful medium of communication in the Iranian society. 101 It is important to note that Persian and especially Sufi poetry have traditionally played an extremely powerful role to provide a deeper encounter between Iranian Muslims and Christian doctrines. Unlike orthodox Islamic thought, Persian Sufi poetry abounds with references to the love of God and also the suffering nature of that love, the intimacy of believers with God, and the divine-human union in the bond of love.
He writes, Christianity in Persia has a very ancient history, and as early as the second century AD, the religion was well established there. indd 29 3/22/2011 12:48:14 PM 30 Christian Encounters with Iran About twenty bishoprics were established by about the third century, and the Persian Church even sent missionaries of its own from Iran to distant countries of the Far East and China. References to Christianity can be found in Persian literature from the earliest period. 88 In order to briefly unpack the above observations, let us turn once again to Foltz who writes, “Iran was surely one of the earliest places to hear the Christian gospel.