عنوان مقاله [English]
Views and attitudes of religious leaders is an important components of any religion as an institution, because they are usually considered to be religious in the view of most religious people. In this study, by the term religion we mean views and attitudes of the religious leaders. Based on the common theory of religious changes, any religion changes in accordance with unsteady socio-cultural conditions of the very society in which it lives so it becomes more compatible with its new environment. The first half of the 20th century is an important historical period for Shia Islam in Iran. An appropriate approach for investigating this issue is comparative-historical analysis, and two democratic transitions in this period, namely, the Constitutional Movement, and the Nationalist Movement in the second cabinet of Mussaddiq, seem to be appropriate for the comparison itself. Why did the Shia's religious leaders act quit differently in the Constitutional Movement (1906) than in the National Movement (1952)? The dominant process during both periods was a governmental modernization (or defensive modernization). Why were they apparently in agreement with modernization process in the Constitutional Movement, and in disagreement in the National Movement? Did their attitudes get changed during the National Movement and does their opposition to Musaddiq's reforms (the general trend of modernization) contradict the common theory of religious change?
Materials & Methods
Initially, we designed a theoretical model by using theoretical ideas related to explanation of change in religion. Theoretical studies in the areas of cultural change (secularization theories regarding modernity and religion), provide a useful theoretical framework from which such a model can be extracted. Then, we applied this model to two historical events in Shia's history: (1) from the absence of Imam Zaman to the Constitutional Movement (1906), and (2) from the Constitutional Movement to The National Movement (1952). This method (parallel demonstration of theory) is an academic approach in historical sociology. We also applied narrative analysis to study appropriate contexts and conditions of the change. For studying socio-political changes of religion, we considered concepts, approaches, government theories and their changes from the view of religious leaders from the absence of Imam Zaman to the Constitutional Movement (1906), as well as political attitudes of religious leaders from the Constitutional Movement (1906) to The National Movement (1952). We represent two answers to the above questions one from the perspective of historians and the other from our own perspective, which is sociological.
Discussion of Results & Conclusions
The results of the study show that religious leaders were influenced by macro transition contexts, and they created relatively stable and unstable changes in religion. Their appropriate and inappropriate positions to the transition process and their effective functioning in transition process are causally important to the transition. Our research indicates that the changes of religion (namely, views and attitudes of religious leaders) may be of a different kind, according to different factors influencing the tension between religion and its social environment, irrespective of how steady the general course of socio-cultural changes of society are. We believe that our theoretical model is capable of explaining the political stand of Shia in the National Movement as well.