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Travelers on one ship
An in depth interview with Abdolkarim Soroush

Interview by Mahmoud Sadri
May 3, 1999
The Iranian

I had been working on a translation of eleven of Abdolkarim Soroush's essays along with a critical introduction for more than a year when I learned he was visiting Houston -- one of his stops on a lecture tour of the United States. I then proposed to go there and interview him for an "intellectual biography."

Thanks to many hours of joint work and debate on the fine points of his notoriously complex writings, I had acquired the requisite familiarity with his thought and persona to sketch the course of the interview in my mind.

We started the day-long interview, in an overcast day, March 11, 1997, in his hotel room in downtown Houston. We broke for lunch and spent a couple of hours dining and visiting the exquisite "Rothko Chapel."

The hours of afternoon slid by in conversation and by the first rays of sunset we had wrapped up the interview. I then transcribed and translated the tape of the interview and sent it to him for further comments, which were minimal.

This interview will be published, along with the rest of the collection, this summer, in the book entitled Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: The Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush, translated, annotated, and with a critical introduction by myself and Ahmad Sadri. (New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.)

Mahmoud Sadri

The Interview:

- Part one
- Part two
- Part three
- Part four
- Part five
- Part six


Mahmoud Sadri is an associate professor of sociology at Texas Women's University. He has a doctorate in sociology from New York's New School for Social Research. For more information see his page at the Texas Women's University. He is the coauthor, with Aruthur Stinchcombe, of an article in "Durkheim's Division of Labor: 1893-1993" Presses Universitaires de France, 1993. To top

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