Islam and Modernity in the Thought of Muhammad Iqbal


Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


CMES, Room 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents

Farzin Vahdat, a sociologist working on conditions and notions of modernity and their applications to Iran, Islam and the Muslim world. He is the author of God and Juggernaut: Iran’s Intellectual Encounter with Modernity and Islamic Ethos and the Specter of Modernity, which was published in June 2015. In the latter book he analyses major elements of contemporary Muslim thought in relation to modern world. Vahdat has just completed a book manuscript entitled Cinema and Social Change in Iran. He is also author of numerous articles, some of which have been translated into different languages. Vahdat has taught at Tufts, Harvard, and Yale Universities, as well as Vassar College.  He currently teaches sociology at Iran Academia, an online university, for Iranian students.

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was well versed in both modern Western philosophy and Islamic branches of knowledge. Iqbal revived and reinterpreted certain aspects of Islamic thought and the Sufi tradition in light of modern western philosophy to lay the foundations of Muslim agency and subjectivity (what he called khudi), which has had major impacts in the Islamic world ever since. In this talk Farzin Vahdat explores and analyzes Iqbal's thought with regard to his efforts to create an Islamic modernity.

Contact: Liz Flanagan