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Mohsen Kadivar, Research Professor

Mohsen Kadivar

Mohsen Kadivar is a research professor of Islamic studies at the department of Religious Studies, Duke University since 2009. He is a leading public intellectual and a theologian trained in Islamic seminaries in Iran, having earned the certificate of Ijtihad (the highest degree of Islamic studies) from the theologian seminary of Qom and received a PhD of Islamic Philosophy and theology from Tarbiate Modarress University in Tehran. His criticism of the Iranian regime led to his imprisonment (1999--2000), the banning of his publications, and finally to his exile from Iran in 2008. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic philosophy, theology, law, ethics, Qur'anic studies, Shi'i political thought, Islam and modernity (specially democracy and human rights), religion and science, religion and politics, comparative medieval philosophy and comparative religious studies. Author of dozens of books in Persian and Arabic, his forthcoming books in 2021 are /Human Rights and Reformist Islam/ and /Blasphemy and Apostasy in Islam: Debates in Shi’a Jurisprudence/ (both Edinburgh U. Press), and /Islamic Theocracy in the Secular Age: Revisiting Shiʿite Political Thought of Islamic Republic of Iran/ (UNC Press). You can find more information about Kaivar’s recent works on his website:


Contact Info: 
Office Location:  Room 216 Gray Building, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3521
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2020):

    Online ON, MW 05:15 PM-06:30 PM
    (also cross-listed as AMES 288S.01, HISTORY 265S.01, POLSCI 379S.01)
    Online ON, Tu 05:15 PM-07:45 PM
    (also cross-listed as RIGHTS 527S.01)
Office Hours:

By appointment

Ph.D.Tarbiat Modares University (Iran)1999

Research Interests: Modern Qur’anic Studies, Classical Islamic Philosophy, Islamic Legal & Ethical Theories, Islamic Political Thought, Human Rights and Democracy in Islam, Classical and Modern Shi’a Theology


Ethics • History • Islam • Law • Philosophy • Political science • Religion

Curriculum Vitae
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Kadivar, M, Democracy and ethical values from Islamic perspective, Philosophy & Social Criticism, vol. 46 no. 5 (May, 2020), pp. 563-575 [doi]  [abs]
  2. KADIVAR, M, BLASPHEMY AND APOSTASY IN ISLAM Debates on Shi'a Jurisprudence (2020), ISBN 1474457576
  3. Kadivar, M, Human action within divine creation: A Muslim perspective, in God's Creativity and Human Action: Christian and Muslim Perspectives (January, 2017), pp. 7-22, ISBN 1626164851
  4. Kadivar, M, Enqelab va nezam dar buteye Naqd-e Akhlaqi (Testing the Revolution and Regime with Ethical Criticism: Ayatollah S. Muhammad Rouhan, Slander and Authority),, vol. 3 (December, 2015), pp. 233 pages, self-published e-book  [abs]
  5. Kadivar, M, Ijtihad in Usul al-Fiqh: Reforming Islamic Thought through Structural Ijtihad, Iran Nameh: a Persian English Quarterly of Iranian Studies, vol. 30 no. 3 (November, 2015), pp. XX-XXVII, University of Toronto, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, ISSN 0892-4147  [abs]

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