Sociology ETDs

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The patterns of socio/political transformation that Iran went through in the 20th century generated episodes of great ideological divergence within Irans shi'ite establishment. The current study seeks to shed light on an instance of textual exchange that took place in the earlier part of the century — in 1943 — but became the bedrock for subsequent discursive conflicts within shi'ism notably during and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Adopting the format of a dialogue and operating within the milieu of a shi'ite outlook, the authors of this exchange, Hakamizadeh and Khomeini, touched upon several social and political topics such as the God/human relation, the notion of Imamate, the institution of the clergy, the state, and the law. In this doctrinal dialogue, one writer, the ex-cleric Hakamizadeh, set out to depict shi'ism as simply a persuasive system to deter the individual from harmful deeds. His critic, the cleric Khomeini, represents shi'ism as a divine regulatory system to codify the standard of not only ethics and manners but also the political management of society. Three decades later, Khomeini found himself intimately engaged in the construction of such an Islamic regulatory system, namely the Islamic Republic of Iran. This study explains how Khomeini's construction of this system after 1979 was inspired by his analytical conception of an ultimate order that he communicated in the above discursive exchanges more than three decades earlier.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Risso, Patricia

Second Committee Member

Schrank, Andrew

Third Committee Member

Milani, Abbas


Shi'ism, Sunnism, theocracy, Caesaropapism, Imamate, Mandate of the Jurist, velayat, tactical dissimulation, Taqiyya, Akhbari, Usuli, ijtehad, hadith, sunna, Babism, occultation, fundamentalism, radical traditionalism, reformism, Hidden Imam, Secret of Thousand Years, Unveiling the Secrets, Hakamizadeh, Khomeini, Khamenei, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Constitution



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