Abdolkarim Soroush Lecture Series

ICCNC welcomes renowned intellectual and pioneering Muslim philosopher, Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush, for a series of Farsi lectures in the Bay Area from January through March 2018. An eloquent speaker with an engaging presence, he is a much sought after speaker at academic conferences and seminars, and university and public lectures in his area of expertise. Possessor of an impressive academic and intellectual record, his career as a teacher and scholar spans over four decades. In these special lecture series, Dr. Soroush surveys the poetic-aesthetical path of spirituality and the epistemic challenges posed by the modern world.

Currently, Dr. Soroush is conducting four lecture series in the Bay Area. These include the following:

  • Ghazals of the Divan-e-Shams
  • First Book of the Masnavi
  • The Theological Journey in Modern Society
  • The Bustan of Saadi

Ghazals of the Divan-e-Shams

Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush’s lecture series on the ghazal poems of the Divan-e-Shams by Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi are held on the first Saturday of each month at ICCNC, Oakland, CA. Each session is devoted in its entirety to one ghazal, or lyrical stanza, culled from Rumi’s masterpiece collection of poems, Divan-e Shams, otherwise known as Divan-e Kabir (The Great Collection). Rumi’s Divan-e Shams contains more than 40,000 verses written in the New Persian vernacular and is considered one of the greatest works of Persian literature.

These lecture started on January 30, 2016. The video and audio recordings of these programs will be compiled and become available in near future.

Program Dates:

  • Saturday January 6, 2018 at 4:30 P.M.
  • Saturday February 3, 2018 at 4:30 P.M.
  • Saturday March 3, 2018 at 4:30 P.M.

Program Location: ICCNC, 1433 Madison Street, Oakland CA 94612

Program Fee: $10 per session

First Book of the Masnavi

Dr. Soroush lecture series on the first book of Masnavi by Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi are held biweekly on Sundays in Menlo Park, CA. In these lectures Dr. Soroush provides an in-depth explanation and commentary on Rumi’s poems. The video recording of these programs are available on ICCNC Youtube Channel.

Program dates and times:

  • Sunday January 14, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday January 28, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday February 11, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday February 25, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday March 11, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday March 25, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

Program location: Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Juniper Room, 700 Alma St., Menlo Park, CA 94025

Program Fee: $10 per session

The Theological Journey in Modern Society

Dr. Soroush lecture series titled ”The Theological Journey in Modern Society” are held biweekly on Sundays at Arrillaga Family Recreation Center in Menlo Park, CA. In these lectures Dr. Soroush explains his views on secularism, religiosity, and the self in a world of increasing complexity and moral confusion. The lecture makes reference to the tradition of sulouk, a gnostic mode of spiritual wayfaring, representing a more inner, rather than physical, journey of self-actualization. Dr. Soroush elucidates the technology of the spiritual self and how it is often encumbered by erroneous understandings of modernity and the increasing atomization of the intellectual sciences. The video recording of these programs are available on ICCNC Youtube Channel.

Program dates and times:

  • Sunday January 7, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday January 21, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday February 4, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday February 18, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday March 4, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.
  • Sunday March 18, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

Program location: Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Juniper Room, 700 Alma St., Menlo Park, CA 94025

Program Fee: $10 per session

The Bustan of Saadi

Dr. Soroush lecture series on the Bustan of Saadi are held monthly on Fridays at Campbell Community Center, Campbell, CA. These lecture series are co-sponsored by the Bonyad Towhid of San Jose, CA.

In this lectures, each of the ten chapters will be analyzed and interpreted. This is a wonderful opportunity for Iranians residing in Northern California, especially teachers and instructors at Persian language schools to become more familiar with the depth and splendor of a book that has been so important and influential in Persian literature and culture.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American poet and sage, called Saadi the “ideal poet” and names him thirty times in his own poetry. He says about Saadi, “Humankind favors Saadi. He is a poet of friendship, kindness, heroics, abnegation, mercy, serenity, and divine grace.”

In Bustan, Saadi’s utopia shows us a poet enlightened far beyond the times in which he lived and pondering thoughts that resonate with humankind in the modern world. It’s not without reason that he is called a world poet in the West and that many of his poems have been highly praised for their sense of sublime humanity.

The video and audio recordings of these programs will be compiled and become available in the near future.

Program Dates:

  • Friday January 19, 2018 at 7:30 P.M.
  • Friday February 16, 2018 at 7:30 P.M.
  • Friday March 16, 2018 at 4:30 P.M.

Program Location: Campbell Community Center, 1 West Campbell Ave., Room Q-80, Campbell CA 95508

Program Fee: $10 per session

Dr. Soroush Bio

Dr. Abdolkarim Soroush is one the leading Muslim public intellectuals in the world, being listed by Time in 2015 as one of the world’s 100 most influential individuals. Known for his analysis of the relationship between religious and secular knowledge and authority, Soroush has also been a Visiting Professor at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, lecturing on subjects such as Islam and democracy, Qur’anic hermeneutics, and the philosophy of Islamic law. Audio recordings of his lectures on various social, political, religious and literary subjects delivered around the world have been widely circulated in Iran and elsewhere. His primarily areas of expertise lie in the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, the philosophical system of Moulana Rumi, and comparative philosophy. A good introduction to his numerous publications in English is Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writing of Abdolkarim Soroush (Oxford: 2002, translated and edited by Mahmoud Sadri and Ahmad Sadri).

For more info on Dr. Soroush and list of his updated publishing please visit his website: http://drsoroush.com/en/

Please visit our YouTube Page for updated recordings of each lecture.