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1 - Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2024

Mehran Kamrava
Affiliation:
Georgetown University in Qatar
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Summary

In today’s Iran, state–religion relations exhibit three key features. An obvious feature is the deep basis of the state in innovative interpretations of Shia jurisprudence. The Islamic Republic is based on the system of the velayat-e faqih, generally translated in English as the “guardianship of the jurisconsult.” As a concept, the notion of the velayat-e faqih had existed in Shia thought for some time before Ayatollah Khomeini elaborated on it in his 1970 book by the same name. Khomeini’s contribution lay in his innovative interpretation of the velayat-e faqih as a supreme political leader who oversaw not just religious affairs, as previous theologians had theorized but was in overall charge of all affairs of the entire community, profane and political as well as religious. Today, Khomeini’s conception of velayat-e faqih underlies the institutional and political foundations of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian political system is far more ideologically informed, and hence ideological, than may at first meet the eye.

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Chapter
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How Islam Rules in Iran
Theology and Theocracy in the Islamic Republic
, pp. 1 - 10
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Introduction
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Book: How Islam Rules in Iran
  • Online publication: 02 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009460880.002
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Book: How Islam Rules in Iran
  • Online publication: 02 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009460880.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Book: How Islam Rules in Iran
  • Online publication: 02 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009460880.002
Available formats
×