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Justifying political decisions through theological arguments
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Systematic Theology and Studies in World Views.
2016 (English)In: Studia Theologica, ISSN 0039-338X, E-ISSN 1502-7791, 1-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The relationship between religion and politics in Muslim contexts has been discussed from many different perspectives. One of these proceeds from the theory of religious politics, according to which political thoughts and decisions are justified and legitimated with the support of theological explanations. A central premise is that religion is able to provide a moral sanction for political actions and decisions. This article discusses the relationship between religion and politics in a Shiite context in pre-modern and early modern times, based on the theory of religious politics. The central point is that the Shiite scholars, during the Safavid era (1501–1736), based their secular viewpoints on interpretations of the Quran, the hadiths, and the 12 Imamite Shiite sources, especially the specific ideas about the hidden imam, to legitimate their own collaboration with the Safavid kings. According to this theory, the religious politics occur within an ideological context such as a nation-state and specific historical circumstances. The religious legitimizations of political actions are usually intertwined with local and historical identities. As such the religious ideologies reflect not a return to tradition per se, but rather an ideological reconstruction of tradition for a new context. The ultimate question is which came first? Did the theological interpretations precede secular and political decisions, or was it the other way around? The theory of religious politics arrives at the conclusion that the theological explanations are employed to legitimate traditions of political thought and secular decisions and not the reverse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 1-20 p.
Keyword [sv]
Shiite Islam, Shiite Political Theory, Rationalist Theology, Religious Legitimacy
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Systematic Theology and Studies in Worldviews
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307698DOI: 10.1080/0039338X.2016.1251967OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307698DiVA: diva2:1048145
Swedish Research Council, dnr 421-2012-822

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Available from: 2016-11-20 Created: 2016-11-20 Last updated: 2016-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Fazlhashemi, Mohammad
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