From antiquity to the Enlightenment, Persian culture has been integral to European history. Interest in all things Persian shaped not just Western views but the self-image of Iranians to the present day. Hamid Dabashi maps the changing geography of these connections, showing that traffic in ideas about Persia did not travel on a one-way street.
Hamid Dabashi Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress BP192.D33 2010 | Dewey Decimal 297.8209
For a Western world anxious to understand Islam and, in particular, Shi’ism, this book arrives with urgently needed information and critical analysis. Hamid Dabashi exposes the soul of Shi’ism as a religion of protest—successful only when in a warring position, and losing its legitimacy when in power.
Humanism has mostly considered the question “What does it mean to be human?” from a Western perspective. Dabashi asks it anew from a non-European perspective, in a groundbreaking study of 1,400 years of Persian literary humanism. He presents the unfolding of this vast tradition as the creative and subversive subconscious of Islamic civilization.