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By By (author) Kingshuk Chatterjee

This e-book tells the tale of the way Shari'ati constructed a language of political Islam, talking in an idiom intelligible to the Iranian public and subverting the Shah's regime and its declare to legitimacy.

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Sample text

Being a demagogue who believed in direct communication with his audience, Shari’ati presented his ideas almost entirely through around 100 public lectures in a period of six years. At present, of the 37 volumes of his works collected posthumously, except for some major works and a few handwritten pieces, the overwhelming majority of his ideas are to found as transcription of his lecture tapes or class notes of his students made available for publication. As a result it is quite a regular feature to trace subtle differences between two versions of the same text.

This is largely because having to deliver well over 100 public lectures in about six years, Shari’ati tended to repeat himself a lot. Sometimes such repetition was expressly desired by the audience of one place who had heard of a lecture/course of lectures delivered elsewhere. But most of the repetition was owing to the fact that Shari’ati was 18 ‘ALI SHARI’ATI AND POLITICAL ISLAM IN IRAN trying to push forth a definite cluster of arguments to a huge audience across different places and at different times.

43 To continue with the given example, if Shari’ati’s audience thought that he was exhorting them to violent resistance in talking about Karbala, does that necessarily mean Shari’ati was doing so? 45 Still more importantly, I assume, following Skinner’s approach, that if the same protagonist has been engaging with a broad range of issues, then however sprawling the scope of such engagement might seem to us, for the protagonist it made a particular sense. Hence, I mean to try and establish a pattern in what Shari’ati said or wrote over a number of years, and account for shifts in emphases by locating them in the larger context of such shifts, as and when they occurred.

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