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Soroush, Abdulkarim (b. 1945)

Considered by some as Islam's Luther, the Shi'a theologian Abdulkarim Soroush has played a central role in the religious intellectual movement in Iran. Soroush is an important figure among a new wave of modern Islamic scholars who argue that the global message of the religion should be distinguished from its local elements. Although the essence of the Islamic message is global and timeless, Soroush argues that it has taken a local shape due to various human factors, including history, culture, and language. Soroush's project is to demonstrate the role of natural, cultural, and historical elements in the religion without reducing it to a wholly natural phenomenon. In his various writings, Soroush argues that three major components of Islam—namely, the Prophet's religious experience (or the wahy), ...

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