Reason and Esotericism in Shi’i Islam

Friday, April 4, 2014
Coulter Lounge

Friday, April 4, 2014


Coulter Lounge

A one-day symposium on ‘Reason and Esotericism in Shi’i Islam’, aimed to be part of a regular series of events bringing together junior and senior scholars and open to the general public interested in Shi’ism in all its varied forms, from all perspectives and periods. The symposium will feature 4 panels from pre-modern to modernity.

The terms ‘reason’ or ‘rationality’ and ‘esotericism’ are often placed into opposition in studies of Islam, and Shi’ite Islam in particular. However, this dichotomy is far from simple. Reason does not necessarily need to be in a relationship of conflict with esotericism, secretive practices, magic and the occult. The ways in which these boundaries are negotiated have significance for legal thinking, theology and doctrine, and also for social and political structures that are built around either secretive and initiatory practices, or open debate and public dialogue.

Speakers include:

Tahera Qutbuddin
Paul Walker
Hassan Ansari
Bella Tendler
Ed Hayes
Rodrigo Adem
Mushegh Asatryan
George Warner
Ata Anzali
Sajjad Rizvi
Matt Melvin-Koushki
Alireza Doostdar
Olly Akkerman
Devin Stewart
Hamid Reza Maghsoodi

Free and open to the public. Registration & coffee begin at 8:15AM.

Presented by the Global Voices Lecture Series,the Central Asian Studies Society, the Center for International Studies and the Norman Wait Harris Fund, the Martin Marty Center at the Divinity School, the Division of the Humanities, the Council for Advanced Studies, the Islamic Studies Workshop and the Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT) Workshop, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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