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Transnationalism in Iranian Political Thought
The Life and Times of Ahmad Fardid

Part of The Global Middle East

  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316636473

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About the Authors
  • During the Iranian Revolution of 1978/9, the influence of public intellectuals was widespread. Many espoused a vision of Iran freed from the influences of 'Westtoxification', inspired by Heideggerian concepts of anti-Western nativism. By following the intellectual journey of the Iranian philosopher Ahmad Fardid, Ali Mirsepassi offers in this book an account of the rise of political Islam in modern Iran. Through his controversial persona and numerous public and private appearances before, during and particularly after the Revolution, Fardid popularised an Islamist vision militantly hostile to the modern world that remains a fundamental part of the political philosophy of the Islamic Republic to this day. By also bringing elements of Fardid's post-revolutionary thought, as well as a critical analysis of Foucault's writings on 'the politics of spirituality', Mirsepassi offers an essential read for all those studying the evolution of political thought and philosophy in modern Iran and beyond.

    • The most extensive study of 'Westoxification' discourse
    • Offers a history of the appropriation of anti-modern European philosophy by Iranian Islamist intellectuals
    • The study of Fardid stands as a cautionary tale, concerning the ideological perils of virulent 'anti-modernism'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a fascinating account of one of the most enigmatic intellectuals of modern Iran, the father of the idea of Westoxication. It offers an analytical frame whose implications go beyond Iran, disclosing how such anti-modern thinking is linked to the ideas of European luminaries such as Heidegger, Corbin, and Foucault. A meticulous example of scholarship.' Asef Bayat, Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    'Ali Mirsepassi's book recounts the fascinating story of a momentous cross-cultural encounter between Western thought and Islam. At the center of his account lies the reception of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger's thought by the influential Iranian Islamist, Ahmad Fardid. Not only has Mirsepassi provided us with an outstanding study of the transnational circulation of ideas. His book also stands as a powerful cautionary tale concerning the ideological perils of virulent 'anti-modernism' - a tale that has the potential to revolutionize many of the unstated assumptions underlying the field of postcolonial studies.' Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science, CIty University of New York Graduate Center

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316636473
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction: Introduction. Islam after fall: why Fardid matters
    1. The historical context: the intellectual's modern calling
    2. 'Home' and the 'world': 'the swallows return to their nest'
    Part II. The World of Young Fardid:
    3. Young Fardid (1935–46)
    4. Henry Corbin's 'imaginative spirituality' and Iranian 'Gharbzadegi' (Westoxication)
    Part III. Orientatlism and 'Spiritual Islam': Fardid, Corbin, Foucault:
    5. Gharbzadegi (Westoxication)
    6. The politics of spirituality: Foucault, the Iranian Revolution
    Part IV. Ahmad Fardid's Philosophy after the Revolution, 1978–81:
    7. The divine encounter and apocalyptic revelations
    8. A reckless mind: policies of Gharbzadegi
    Part V. Fardid Remembered:
    9. Interviews with Fardid's friends and critics
    Conclusion. Fardid after Fardid.

  • Author

    Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
    Ali Mirsepassi is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, where he is also the Director of Iranian Studies Initiative. He is the co-author, with Tadd Fernee, of Islam, Democracy and Cosmopolitanism: At Home and in the World (Cambridge, 2014), and the author of Political Islam, Iran and Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair (Cambridge, 2011), Democracy in Modern Iran (2010) and Intellectual Discourses and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran (2000).

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