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 Friday 3rd November 2006

The Boardroom

University of Westminster

309 Regent Street

London W1B 2UW

9.30am – 5.30 pm

Nearest tube: Oxford Street


Abdolkarim Soroush




The annual CSD Encounter at the University of Westminster brings together scholars and members of the public to examine in detail the work of a leading contemporary thinker, in his or her presence. The one-day CSD Encounter includes workshops (by invitation only), followed by an evening public lecture. Previous guest scholars at CSD have included Bernard Crick, Mary Douglas, Francis Fukuyama, Bruno Latour, Richard Rorty, Pierre Rosanvallon, Quentin Skinner, Michael Walzer and Adam Watson.


The honoured guest of this year’s tenth anniversary CSD Encounter is Abdolkarim Soroush. Born in Tehran in 1945, he gained his first degree in pharmacy in Iran before completing his doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of London. He later studied history and the philosophy of science at Chelsea College. Immediately after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Dr Soroush returned to Iran, where he was to become the country’s most prominent and controversial philosopher and public intellectual. In 1994, he was awarded the Erasmus Prize and in 2005 Time Magazine ranked him as among the hundred men and women whose ‘power, talent or moral example is transforming the world’. Dr Soroush has lectured and taught at many of the world’s best universities, and most recently he has held posts at Berlin’s Wissenschaftskolleg and at the universities of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. He is the author, in Persian, of more than 25 books, principally on the subjects of comparative philosophy of science and religion, as well as influential commentaries on Rumi and Persian Sufi poetry. His taped and filmed speeches and commentaries circulate widely in Iran and throughout the world, while in English his best known work is Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam (Oxford University Press, 2000).


Dr Soroush will be present during the morning and afternoon workshop devoted to his work on the subjects of justice and democracy, respectively. His commentators will include Abdelwahab el-Affendi, Abdou Filali-Ansary, Soumaya al-Ghannouchi, John Keane and Ali Paya. Morning coffee/tea and lunch will be provided.


The workshop will begin at 9.30am sharp in the Board Room, in the main building of the University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1 (nearest underground: Oxford Circus). It will conclude at 3.30 pm and be followed, at 4 pm sharp, by the public lecture delivered by Dr Soroush, ‘Religious Pluralism: a Sufficient Condition for Religious Democracy’. Afternoon tea will be provided. Pre-registration is essential for both the workshop and public lecture. Requests are to be sent to amanda.machin@gmail.com.


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