Changing Paradigms Society, Democracy, and Theology In Contemporary Iran
Day one of a two day conference
Saturday, February 20, 2010
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Royce Hall 314
Day 1, Panel in English
The unfolding events in Iran and the creation of a remarkable grass-roots movement that encompasses all social groups and includes people of all ages and educational backgrounds, have lead many to seek new analysis on contemporary Iran. The processes that have rapidly engulfed almost the entire nation since the June 12, 2009, rigged election, have gained intensity and are defining a new socio-political paradigm for Iran. The implications of the events in Iran observed by millions in the new social media in addition to the traditional ones, reach beyond geographical boarders of Iran. The triumph of the Green movement in Iran will have the potential of changing political systems in the entire Middle East, and may change the current culture of ‘hate and death’ to that of tolerance, democracy, rule of law, and equal opportunity for all in the pursuit of equality, justice, and happiness. What the Iranian people have accomplished so far by pouring into the streets to legally demonstrate for their constitutional upheld rights is huge. The very fact that they have continued to demonstrate in view of the harsh and brutal clampdowns by the Islamic Republic is in itself remarkable. The movement despite the draconian measures has not died out, and is a genuine, widespread, and spontaneous national upheaval resulting from the collective Iranian reaction to thirty years of lies and torture and mismanagement of the national wealth. Iranians are also fed up with the culture of death and the morbid ideology of martyrdom and killing. They desire essential and fundamental change.
The current movement in Iran must be analyzed in multiple ways, and one of the ways we can do this is to provide forums for free discussion and debate on current issues. Amuzegar Seminar and Lecture Series is sponsoring The February 2010 two-day conference.
The Civic Movement and the Crisis of Theological Politics in Iran
Roger Cohen joined The New York Times in 1990. He was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting Foreign Editor on September 11, 2001, and Foreign Editor six months later. Since 2004 he has written a column for the Times-owned International Herald Tribune, first for the news pages and then, since 2007, for the Op-Ed page. In 2009 he was named a columnist of The New York Times. Mr. Cohen has written "Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo" (Random House, 1998), an account of the wars of Yugoslavia's destruction, and "Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). He has also co written a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, "In the Eye of the Storm," (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1991). Cohen has won numerous awards and honors, among them the Peter Weitz Prize for Dispatches from Europe, the Arthur F. Burns Prize, and the Joe Alex Morris lectureship at Harvard University. He received an Overseas Press Club award for his coverage of third world debt in 1987, the Inter-American Press Association "Tom Wallace" Award for feature writing in 1989.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is a well-known Iranian-Canadian philosopher. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Ramin Jahanbegloo taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto from 1997-2001. He later served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran and, in 2006-07, was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. In April 2006 Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution in Iran. He was placed in solitary confinement for four months and released on bail. He is presently a Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto and a board member of PEN Canada. He is the winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence. Among his twenty books in English, French and Persian are Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (Peter Halban, 1992), Gandhi: Aux Sources de la Nonviolence ( Felin , 1999), Penser la Nonviolence (UNESCO,2000), Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (Lexington Books, 2004, The Clash of Intolerances (Har-Anand 2007) and very recently The Spirit of India (Penguin 2008), Beyond Violence (Har-Anand 2008) and India Analysed (Oxford University Press 2009)
Cost: Free and Open to the Public