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Islam, Secularism, and Liberal DemocracyToward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies$
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Nader Hashemi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321241

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321241.001.0001

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Dueling Scriptures

Dueling Scriptures

The Political Theology of John Locke and the Democratization of Muslim Societies

(p.67) 2 Dueling Scriptures
Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy

Nader Hashemi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

What can Muslim democrats learn from reading John Locke today in terms of their own struggle for democracy and human rights? More specifically, how are Locke's writings on religion and politics relevant for understanding the relationship between religion, secularism and liberal democracy today in Muslim societies? These are the broad questions this chapter seeks to answer. Two of Locke's key texts are scrutinized: A Letter Concerning Toleration and the Two Treatise of Government. The focus is on Locke's political theology and his reinterpretation of Christian norms as an antecedent to his new vision of political life. The second half of this chapter applies the lesson learned from John Locke to the case of the contemporary Muslim world with a focus on conservative‐reformist debates inside Iran.

Keywords:   John Locke, reformation, Christianity, toleration, Islam, political theology, Iran, reformist, Muhammad Khatami, Muslims

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