Nearly four decades after a revolution, experiencing one of the longest wars in contemporary history, facing political and ideological threats by regional radicals such as ISIS and the Taliban, and having succeeded in negotiations with six world powers over her nuclear program, Iran appears as an experienced Muslim country seeking to build bridges with its Sunni neighbours as well as with the West. Ethics of War and Peace in Iran and Shi'i Islam explores the wide spectrum of theoretical approaches and practical attitudes concerning the justifications, causes and conduct of war in Iranian-Shi'i culture. By examining primary and secondary sources, and investigating longer lasting factors and questions over circumstantial ones, Mohammed Jafar Amir Mahallati seeks to understand modern Iranian responses to war and peace. His work is the first in its field to look into the ethics of war and peace in Iran and Shi'i Islam. It provides a prism through which the binary source of the Iranian national and religious identity informs Iranian response to modernity. By doing so, the author reveals that a syncretic and civilization-conscious soul in modern Iran is re-emerging.
Mohammad Jafar Amir Mahallati is Presidential Scholar in Islamic Studies at Oberlin College. From 1987 to 1989 he was the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations.
Preface Introduction Part I - The Ethics of War and Peace in Iran: Epic Literature, Philosophy, Theology, and Chivalry Chapter One - The Ethics of War and Peace in Epic Persian Literature: Shahnameh of Ferdows Chapter Two - Iranian Classical Thinkers on War and Peace: A Select View Chapter Three - War and Chivalry in the Annals of Iranian History and Ethical Imagination Chapter Four - Modern Iranian Intellectuals on the Ethics of Enmity and Nonviolence Part II - The Jihad Jurisprudence, its Developments and Critics in Iran Chapter Five - War and Peace in Shi'i Primary Narratives of Sources Chapter Six - The Traditional Shi'i Ethics of War and Peace Untested: Jihad, Ideology, Revolution and War Chapter Seven - Modern Iranian-Shi'i Ethics of War and Peace: Revisions and the Reconstruction of Modern Iranian Shi'i Ethics of War and Peace Chapter Eight - Terrorism, Martyrdom, Nonviolence and Forgiveness Chapter Nine - Diplomacy in between Nuclear Technology and anti-Bomb Theology Conclusions - Beyond the Minority Mentality: The Emerging Iranian-Shi'i Cosmopolitanism Appendix I - "Jihad": A Historical Overview of the Concept and its Politics (English translation of an entry article published in The Great Islamic Encyclopaedia, First Edition, Iran) Appendix I I - "Jang" (war in Persian): Laws in War According to Twelver Shi'i Jurisprudence (English translation of an entry article published in The Great Islamic Encyclopaedia, First Edition, Iran) Appendix III - Iran's Official Position on War Crimes by Daesh Appendix IV - Advice and Guiding to the Fighters on the Battlefields: A Shi'i Manual Endnotes Bibliography