Clericalism in Iran

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Sheikh Fazlollah Noori

Clericalism in Iran (Persian: کارنامه و تاريخچه روحانيت در ايران) has a long history and had remarkable impact on Iranian society, politics as well as on Islamic theology.


There are controversies about the emergence of clericalism in Iran. Some scholars believe that clericalism dates back to 1000 years ago.[1]




Structure and functions:

Over the course of history, Iranian seminaries have had traditional functions in the religious sphere to provide support to civil society in the country. However, after the Iranian revolution in 1979, seminaries have been highly politicized and their independence greatly reduced.[2] The revolution created a new political order based on Shiite theological foundations and the absolute ruling power was given to a Shiite jurist/cleric.[3]

The history of Qom seminaries dates back to 3rd century (Hijri). Hossein Ibn Said Ahvazi, a famous theologian, moved from Kufa to Qom. He educated the first generation of clerics in Qom.[4]

Impact on Economy[edit]

Many clerics have been involved in high-profile economic activities, most notably Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Abbas Vaez-Tabasi and Nasser Makarem Shirazi.

Impact on Iranian Politics[edit]

Clerics involved in politics during Safavid and Qajar era

Clerics involved in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

Influential Clerics of the Pahlavi era

Clerics involved in the Iranian Revolution

Clerics acting as high officials

Mohammad Khatami, former Iranian president

Political parties founded by clerics

Institutions exclusively associated with clerics

Impact on other societies[edit]


  1. ^ (Persian) ديدگاههاي رياست جمهوري
  2. ^ Project Syndicate
  3. ^ - Iran's Political Clerics - The Absence of a Credible Religious Authority
  4. ^ طظˆط²ظ‡ - ظ…ظ‚ط§ظ„ط§طھ -طظˆط²ظ‡ ط¹ظ„ظ…غŒظ‡ ظ‚ظ… - ط³غŒط¯ع©ط¨ط§ط±غŒطŒ ط³غŒط¯ ط¹ظ„غŒط±ط¶ط§

See also[edit]