AbdolKarim Soroush

Abdolkarim Soroush is an Iranian academic philosopher and theologian. Arguably the most influential contemporary Muslim thinker in Iran, he is often viewed as the successor of Ali Shariati, but more steeped in the philosophical and mystical tradition of the Iranian Shia. Today his ideas play a significant role in the Iranian reform movement. From the year 2000 onwards Abdul Karim Soroush has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, teaching Islam and democracy, Quranic studies and philosophy of Islamic law. He has been a scholar in residence at Yale University and has taught Islamic political philosophy at Princeton University. He has also been a visiting scholar in the Wissenschaftkolleg in Berlin, at Columbia University and at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Most recently, he has been a visiting Professor at the University of Chicago teaching Intellectual and Religious History of Modern Iran. After being trained in Tehran as a pharmacologist and philosopher, he left for the United Kingdom where he studied history and philosophy of science, particularly the philosophy of Popper and Kuhn. During the months preceding the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Soroush took part in the gatherings of young Muslim opponents of the Shah's regime, which took place in the London imam-barah. His book, Dialectical Antagonism, a compilation of his lectures delivered in the imam-barah, was published in Iran. When the revolution began in 1979, Soroush returned to Iran. In the spring of 1980 he was appointed member of the Council for the Cultural Revolution, established by Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1982 he left this council for good and never accepted any governmental offices.

He is the author of 23 books including Tolerance and Governance (1997), Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam, Essential Writings Abdolkarim Soroush (2000) and The Divine Ethics (2001).