Abdolkarim Soroush, Muslim intellectual and reformer, to address Notre Dame’s Qur’an Seminar

by Michael O. Garvey

Abdolkarim Soroush

Abdolkarim Soroush, the Iranian scholar, human rights advocate and religious reformer, will give a lecture on “The Qur’an, Philosophy and Law” Thursday (April 11) at 7:30 p.m. in Room 1140 of the Eck Hall of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

Soroush’s lecture is the last of a series sponsored by the Qur’an Seminar, an academic project hosted by Notre Dame to advance Qur’anic scholarship, encourage collaboration among international scholars and present public lectures by leading Muslim intellectuals.

Soroush, a former professor of the University of Tehran and now a visiting scholar at Yale, Princeton, Harvard and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, is widely considered the most influential figure in religious intellectual movements in Iran. He was named by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and both his supporters and critics have compared his role in arguing for the reform of Islam with that of Martin Luther in reforming Christianity.

“Abdolkarim Soroush was counted among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people because of his fearless campaign for liberty and human dignity in Iran,” according to Gabriel Said Reynolds, Tisch Family Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at Notre Dame and co-director of the Qur’an Seminar.

“What Time magazine missed, however, is the profound influence that Dr. Soroush has had on a generation of thinkers in both the Islamic world and the West. Dr. Soroush is an intellectual who presents a case for human rights that is meaningful to believers of various religious traditions. Moreover, as an intellectual he has always maintained that the insights of rigorous academic studies are, far from a threat, an important resource to people of faith. In his lecture at Notre Dame, as part of the Qurʾan Seminar, he will reflect on the latest advances in our knowledge of the Qurʾan in the light of Muslim belief.”

Contact: Gabriel Reynolds, 574-631-5138, reynolds@nd.edu