This lecture, which grew from Professor Ahmad Sadri's concerns about the place of religion and morality in post-Islamic-Republic Iran, starts with an exploration of the origins and functions of religion and morality using insights from evolutionary science, sociology, and philosophy. Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, William James, Durkheim, and Weber will be our main philosophical and sociological anchors. The literary refractions of these questions in the works of Dostoyevsky (primarily, Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov), Samuel Butler, and Abolghasem Ferdowsi will also be discussed. Popular culture references include Adrian Lyne’s movie “Indecent Proposal” and Obeyd of Zākān’s Fable of Mice and the Cat.Ahmad Sadri
is Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology at Lake Forest College, USA.