Ahmad Iravani

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President and Executive Director of the CSIME

Ahmad Iravani is an Iranian philosopher, scholar and clergyman from the Northern region of Iran, along the Caspian Sea. He is an advocate of interfaith and intra-faith peace dialogue.

Early life and education[edit]

Iravani resided in his birthplace, Golestan Province, until his 11th grade and moved to Mashhad to receive his diploma from Ferdowsi (Aboudhar Ghaffari) High School in 1978. During his early teenage years, he became familiar with writings and work of Ali Shariati. Under the influences of Ali Shariati and Imam Khomeini’s message, Iravani became interested in learning more about Islam. A year after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, he attended Howze Elmiyeh in Qom for further Islamic studies.

After returning to Iran in 1990, he resumed his education and received his degree in religious studies called “Rotbe Awwale Kharej” by 1992, the equivalent to a doctorate or PhD. Iravani then began teaching "Islamic Law, Foundation of Islamic Economy, and Islamic Philosophy" at the Allameh Tabatabai University, "Logic and Methodology" at the Ministry of Justice (Iran), and "Islamic History, Mystics" at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.

In 1995, he obtained his bachelor's degree in Western Philosophy from University of Tehran. Continuously attending Howzeh Elmiyeh, by 1997, Iravani received his “Ejaze-e-Ijtihad” (highest degree of Islamic religious studies). His teachers were Late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, Late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and Grand Ayatollah Sane'i who conveyed and gave him the degree. During the following year, 1998, he received his master's degree in Western Philosophy from Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, Iran. From 1997-2000 Iravani was the Dean of the School of Philosophy of Mofid University in Qom.

Missionary work[edit]

In 1982, following the call of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri to preach Islam around the world, he travelled to Africa. During his stay, Iravani worked to promote intra-faith dialogue amongst Muslims and educate them by holding conferences giving lectures on fighting Islamic fundamentalist ideas, which were spread throughout Africa at the time. During his time in West Africa, he established an Islamic seminary in Accra, Ghana in 1983.

During the summers of 1983 to 1987, he traveled to other West African countries for missionary work. He then settled in Zimbabwe from 1987-1990, and established the Center of Islamic Studies in Southern Africa.

Interfaith work[edit]

In 1999 he met a philosopher and scholar, Father McLean,[1] an emeritus professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. With McLean's assistance,[1] Iravani moved to the United States to pursue his PhD in Western Philosophy in 2000. Soon after, he was asked to teach Islamic Law and Islamic Jurisprudence at the Columbus School of Law and School of Theology.[2] Since 2002, Iravani has been teaching “Introduction to Islam” and “Iran Since the Revolution” during summers at University of California, Davis.[3] In addition to his academic activities, he has participated in interfaith dialogues in several countries[which?].

He was the Director of Islamic Studies and Dialogue at the Center for the Study of Culture and Values [4] until the end of 2009, which holds conferences and exchange of scholars between Iran and United States. In 2010, he founded the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East (CSIME), and serves as the President and Executive Director.[5]

In December 2010 he received his Doctor of Philosophy after defending his PhD dissertation under the title of "Foundations of Jacques Maritain’s Political Philosophy" at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy [6] in Tehran, Iran.

Iravani became a fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at the Catholic University of America in 2014 [7] That same year he became a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith for the year 2014-2016, as part of the World Economic Forum [8]

In 2014, Iravani was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he delivered a speech on interfaith endeavors [9] In 2015, he participated in the Davos Insights on Society and Security panel [10] Iravani was also involved with the "Global Sharpers" talk show in discussions on how to engage youth in work. While at the World Economic Forum, Dr. Iravani was invited by Karen I. Tse, founder of International Bridges to Justice and a human rights attorney, to speak on torture at her 2015 Sunrise Interfaith Peace Vigil.


  1. ^ a b "IPR Fellow: Rev. George F. McLean, Ph.D". Ipr.cua.edu. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  2. ^ "Interest in Western Philosophy Leads Iranian Professor to CUA". Campus Watch. 2002-03-07. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  3. ^ "Community principles play out as campus explores Islamic". University of California, Davis. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Center for the Study of Culture". Crvp.org. Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  5. ^ "Staff". csime.org.
  6. ^ [1] Archived January 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ http://ipr.cua.edu/faculty/Iravani.cfm
  8. ^ "Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith 2014-2016". Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith 2014-2016 - World Economic Forum.
  9. ^ "2014 events - CSIME". csime.org.
  10. ^ "Davos Insights: Society and Security". Davos Insights: Society and Security - World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 2015-02-07.

External links[edit]