Satan Conquered: The Iranian Revolution and its Demons

16 Oct 2020


The 1979 Revolution gave birth to a political order that defined God as its greatest protector and Satan as its ultimate foe. While scholars have long grappled with the Islamic Republic’s theological master narratives, Satan’s multifaceted role in the Iranian political and religious landscape remains poorly understood. In this talk, I offer an analysis of a range of sources— textual, ethnographic, and audiovisu- al—to argue that in the past two decades, confrontations with the Accursed One have fragmented into contradictory, anxiety-ridden struggles for the soul of the Islamic Republic.

Alireza Doostdar is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and the Anthropology of Religion in the University of Chicago Divinity School. His book, The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny (Princeton University Press, 2018) received the 2018 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).

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Event Date: 
Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:00pm
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