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Mujtahid-Shabistari, Muhammad (b. 1937)

Muhammad Mujtahid-Shabistari is a contemporary Shi'a Muslim theologian who is one of the leading thinkers behind the reform movement challenging the clergy's political supremecy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Born to a clerical family, Muhammad Mujtahid-Shabistari entered the Qum seminary at the age of 14 and pursued his religious studies for the next 18 years. He was also interested in contemporary trends in philosophy and modern Western thought. Mujtahid-Shabistari went to Germany in 1970 and became the director of the Hamburg Islamic Center. While holding that position until 1979, he studied the hermeneutic trend in modern theology. He returned to Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and was elected to the first Islamic parliament (Majlis) in 1980.

Mujtahid-Shabistari emerged as one of the most ...

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