Freedom of Religion: The Contribution of Contemporary Iranian Reformist Scholars

Ali Akbar
2021 Religions  
This article examines a specific line of thinking shared by several contemporary reformist Iranian religious scholars who present arguments in favor of freedom of religion. Focusing on the ideas of five prominent reformist Iranian scholars—Abdolkarim Soroush (b.1945), Muhammad Mujtahed Shabestari (b.1936), Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari (b.1950), Mohsen Kadivar (b.1959), and Ahmad Qabel (d.2012)—the article argues that these thinkers' defense of freedom of religion is based not only on their
more » ... tions of the Qurʾān and historical Islamic sources, but also philosophical arguments in which concepts from the fields of epistemology and hermeneutics are deployed. As the article demonstrates, some of these scholars connect the notion of freedom of religion to political arguments supporting religious tolerance, or the view that, in order to guarantee religious freedom, the state must be neutral towards the religious orientation of its citizens.
doi:10.3390/rel12060384 fatcat:jdqlzry6nvb6jp6cex25u43ir4