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The Iranian metaphysicals : explorations in science, Islam, and the uncanny

Author: Alireza [VNV] Doostdar
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2018]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What do the occult sciences, séances with the souls of the dead, and appeals to saintly powers have to do with rationality? Since the late nineteenth century, modernizing intellectuals, religious leaders, and statesmen in Iran have attempted to curtail many such practices as "superstitious," instead encouraging the development of rational religious sensibilities and dispositions. However, far from diminishing the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alireza [VNV] Doostdar
ISBN: 9780691163772 0691163774 9780691163789 0691163782
OCLC Number: 1043701077
Description: xiv, 295 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Rammal --
Crossing the line --
Popular nonsense --
Legal censure --
Do Jinn exist? --
Virtuous caution --
A scholar-Rammal --
The hesitant officer --
Metaphysical pleasures --
The fantastic --
Rammali refashioned --
Suppress, accommodate, sublimate --
Scientist --
Quantum understanding --
Empirical spirits --
Scientific virtues --
Wings of imagination --
Cosmic mystics --
Specters of doubt --
Becoming witness --
Authority in experience --
Experiments in synthesis --
Friend of God --
A protector lost --
Whips for the wayfarers --
Discretion and publicity --
The politics of veneration --
Metaphysics of vision --
Techno-spiritual reflexivity --
Hagiographies unbound.
Responsibility: Alireza Doostdar.
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Abstract:

What do the occult sciences, séances with the souls of the dead, and appeals to saintly powers have to do with rationality? Since the late nineteenth century, modernizing intellectuals, religious leaders, and statesmen in Iran have attempted to curtail many such practices as "superstitious," instead encouraging the development of rational religious sensibilities and dispositions. However, far from diminishing the diverse methods through which Iranians engage with the immaterial realm, these rationalizing processes have multiplied the possibilities for metaphysical experimentation. The Iranian Metaphysicals examines these experiments and their transformations over the past century. Drawing on years of ethnographic and archival research, Alireza Doostdar shows that metaphysical experimentation lies at the center of some of the most influential intellectual and religious movements in modern Iran. These forms of exploration have not only produced a plurality of rational orientations toward metaphysical phenomena but have also fundamentally shaped what is understood as orthodox Shi'i Islam, including the forms of Islamic rationality at the heart of projects for building and sustaining an Islamic Republic. Delving into frequently neglected aspects of Iranian spirituality, politics, and intellectual inquiry, The Iranian Metaphysicals challenges widely held assumptions about Islam, rationality, and the relationship between science and religion.--Back cover.

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"This original book considers Iranians' experiments with the supernatural world through investigations into their encounters with the occult, mysticism, healing, exorcism, magnetism, and Spiritism, Read more...

 
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