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Durham e-Theses
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Sayyed Ahmad Kasravi historian, language reformer and thinker

Ramyar, Minoo (1969) Sayyed Ahmad Kasravi historian, language reformer and thinker. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Sayyed Ahmad Kasravi was one of the greatest scholars and thinkers of 20th-century Iran. He had already won an international reputation as a historian and as a linguist before he was murdered by a religious fanatic in 1945. His ideas about language reform, literature, religion and politics challenged traditional Iranian ways of thinking. The purpose of this thesis is to outline the contents of Kasravi’s writings, to quote comments by his admirers and critics, and to express our own views when possible. In chapter I, Kasravi’s background, education and career are outlined, and influences which helped to shape his thought are indicated. Chapter II contains summaries of the contents of Kasravi’s historical works, and quotes Iranian and foreign appraisals of his achievements as a historian. Chapter III contains summaries of Kasravi’s principal writings in the field of linguistics and language reform, together with assessments of his work. Chapter IV contains summaries of Kasravi’s writings as a literary theorist, and discusses his hostility to mystic and panegyric poetry. Chapter V contains summaries of Kasravi's views on existing religions and of his own religious beliefs. Comments by his critics and some comments of our own are appended. Chapter VI contains summaries of Kasravi's views on mysticism, materialism and other ideological matters. Chapter VII contains summaries of Kasravi’s views on political, economic and social problems, with comments. In the Conclusion an attempt is made to assess the importance and influence of Kasravi’s life and work as a whole. Various Iranian and foreign views of Kasravi’s achievements are also quoted. In the three Appendices, further information is given on Kasravi’s life and personality and the sources of his ideas; and some comparisons are made between Kasravi’s ideas on religion, politics, and language, and other contemporary ideas.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:36

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