Colloquium - 'Critics of Religious Higher Learning in Early Modern Iran'
MENAS Spring 2013 Colloquim Series presents Maryam Moazzen, from the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, discussing "Critics of Religious Higher Learning in Early Modern Iran." Early Safavid rulers needed religious scholars who could develop a standard system of religious law to meet the needs of Safavid society. Therefore, in the 16th century, the Uṣūlī mujtahids, who regarded Shi'ite law as an evolving, responsive and assimilating sphere of activity, monopolized higher learning and played an active role in directing cultural and religious institutions as well as institutionalization of Shi'ism in Iran. This talk discusses the major problems facing Shi'ite higher learning by examining the critiques of such scholars as Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1635 or 1640), the Safavid philosopher, Muḥsin-i Fayḍ Kāshānī (d.1679), a renowned traditionalist, and Muḥammad Bāqir Khurāsānī, known as Muḥaqqiq-i Sabzawārī (d. 1679), the Shaykh al-Islam of Isfahan and a prominent mujtahid, and Muḥammad Zamān Tabrīzī (fl. early 18th century), an eminent Safavid pedagogue.