Islamic seminary schools’ capacity for intellectualism
Baqir al-Olum University
Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology
The present paper is to show that Islamic seminary school thought as an epistemological approach has the capacity for intellectualism due to the specific principles, foundations, and features it has only if we do not limit intellectualism to its historical origin and identificational barrier in the Age of Enlightenment. The paper also elaborates on the five features of this thought and analyzes intellectualism into the three main features of being contemporary, having a critical thinking, and trying to find solutions for important problems of the time. Then the paper shows that the five features of this thought are not incompatible with the three features of intellectualism. In sum, the paper emphasized the point that, although all the various projects by religious intellectualism were endeavors to help religious thought overcome the challenges of the modern world, what makes Islamic seminary school intellectualism different from the other projects of religious intellectualism are the specific epistemological framework dominating over Islamic seminary school intellectualism and its strategy for confronting with challenges of the contemporary world.
Keywords: intellectualism, seminary thought, seminary intellectualism, critical thinking, contemporaneousness
Islamic Philosophy and Theology Department
Baqir al-Olum University
Considering the different conventional and terminological meanings existing for intellectualism, the paper tries to explain seminary intellectualism. Then, on the basis of the different meanings of this combination, the paper follows up the historical and social process of seminary intellectualism. Starting from three conceptions of intellectualism, the paper moves towards three conceptions of seminary intellectualism for each of which three historical situations are identified.
Keywords: intellectualism, enlightening, enlightenedness, modern, seminary, modern rationality, conceptual reason, universal reason, partial reason
Jurisprudence-based modern thinking and the contemporary intellectualism
The present paper is a study of contemporary modern thinking movement in the field of jurisprudence and tries to characterize seminary modern thinking through presenting a brief account of the history of intellectualism. The writer believes that the modern thinking based on Shiite jurisprudence had not only a major role in the most important arenas of intellectual activities, i.e. the arena of social and intellectual criticism and reform, but also was a basic and reference movement. Afterwards, the paper explains the course of sharia-centered modern thinking movement, from Vahid Behbahani to Imam Khomeini. Then ten specific features of seminary modern thinking are elaborated which are: presentation of epistemologically internal thoughts, the centrality of Fiqh, rationalism, historical consistency, politics, diligence and being revolutionary, dependence on spirituality, popular acceptance, inclination towards dialogue, explanation, and the centrality of political, cultural, social reform instead of religious reform. Finally, the paper elaborates on the necessity of strengthening some of indices and on some of challenges against seminary modern thinking.
Keywords: seminary modern thinking, religious intellectualism, religious thought, reformism
Religious and seminary intellectualism: motivations and perspectives
Academy of Islamic Sciences and Culture
The Iranian religious intellectual movement, which is led by people with various pluralistic thoughts, needs to be analyzed. Studying the goals behind this movement and comparing them with the goals behind seminary intellectualism is very important. After giving a short account of the intellectual approaches of the most important movements in religious intellectualism during the decades after the Islamic Revolution, the paper studies their motivations and perspectives so that after studying the worries of these movements the problems of religious intellectualism in Iran are reevaluated. After defining intellectualism, the paper studies the most important outlooks of religious intellectualism in the country on the basis of above-mentioned grounds and elaborated on the problems they have to attain their goals. The discussions on non-seminary intellectualism are based on the ideas of Soroosh and Malekian and with respect to seminary intellectualism the discussions are based on the general movement of modern thinking and reformism in seminary schools.
Keywords: religious intellectualism, seminary intellectualism, rationality, spirituality, religious modern thinking
Najaf seminary schools’ attitude towards the idea of intellectualism
Baqir al-Olum University
One of the ideas infiltrating into the Islamic world in the past hundred years is the idea of intellectualism which claims that man’s self-centered reason can solve all the theoretical and practical problems and make him independent of supernatural and revelational teachings. This thinking influenced on some Muslim scholars who tried to interpret and explain some religious teachings, and in some cases narrations and verses, on the basis of experiential reason and scientific experiments. In fact, they supposed they were compromising text with reason. In this paper, I will try study the position of Najaf seminary school in this respect. Thus, I will first refer to some repudiational reactions of Najaf schools against the Age of Enlightenment. Then, the contributions of Shahid Sadr, who organized the seminaries on the basis of Alavid legacy and presented some innovations to the Islamic world, will be mentioned as an affirmative sample. In general, the paper is to show how seminary intellectualism can be distinguished from Western intellectualism.
Keywords: enlightening, intellectualism, intellectuals, secular, modernism, civilization, Najaf seminary, Najaf Ulama, Shahid Sadr
Rethinking reformist movements and neo-thinking in Islamic seminary schools
Office of Islamic Propagation in Qom Seminary Schools
The older Shiite seminary schools in Qom, despite the oppression of tyrannical rulers, decadence of social conditions, and petrifaction of the ignorant, witnessed a new creative and critical thinking, a movement arising out of our own bed of culture and thought and resisting against despotism and authoritarianism. The movement, rooted in divine teachings and in the school of Ahl al-Bayt (the progeny of the Prophet), initiated a reformist movement which is still thriving and in motion. This scientific and social movement is not similar to intellectual movements, with intellectualism being a non-native word which shows a model / models whose historical experience is full of dangers and pests. As a result, one cannot apply it the reformist movement of the Shiite seminary schools. Based on a sociological approach, the present paper is to study the characteristics and indices of this reformist movement. Shunning imitation, seeking truth, being realistic, considering the circumstances of time and place, and making use of various epistemological methods are some the major features of this movement.
Keywords: Islamic seminary schools, neo-thinking, reformist movement, seminary school neo-thinking, seminary school reformism
The forerunners of Shiite seminary schools in confronting with Western philosophy
Mohammad Fana’ee Eshkevari
The paper is to show how the contemporary Shiite ulamas, arising out of Shiite seminary schools, confront with the West. Thus, academicians and scholars out of seminary schools will only be slightly touched. The ulamas discussed here are those who appeared before the Islamic Revolution and are thus considered as forerunners. As a result, I will only briefly refer to the ulamas appearing after the Revolution. Thus, the purpose of this study is a general consideration of the topic, showing the attention of ulamas to Western philosophy, depicting the geographical dimension of issue, and mentioning some samples of the discussions they had. In this way, one can find out about the types of discussions and literature they used and the position they adopted in regard with Western philosophy.
Keywords: Western philosophy, comparative philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Marxism, critique, meta-discipline.
Successive peace treaties for the gradual elimination of Palestinian identity 1978-2007
Office of Islamic Propagation of the Qom Seminary Schools
Deputy of Education
Numerous political, economic, cultural, and military attempts have taken place over a century to eliminate the historical and incontestable identity of the Palestinian Muslims and Qods as the first qibla of the Muslims. Along with the above activities, there were many diplomatic endeavors to legitimize the illegitimate Israeli government. These attempts took the form of imposed peace treaties between this illegitimate government, the surrounding countries, and the Palestinian people. The gradual result of these treaties were the acceptance of the elimination of Palestinian identity and the mere reliance on self-government in Gazza strip and the West Bank under Israeli government by few compromising leaders in the region. However, in the 22 days war of Israel with the Palestinians it was clarified that all their attempts came to nothing.
Keywords: identity, Camp David, Regan’s plan, Oslo Treaty, Annapolis