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The Iranian MetaphysicalsExplorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny$
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Alireza Doostdar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163772.001.0001

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Technospiritual Reflexivity

Technospiritual Reflexivity

Chapter:
(p.217) 24 Technospiritual Reflexivity
Source:
The Iranian Metaphysicals
Author(s):

Alireza Doostdar

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163772.003.0027

This chapter examines how sinful images of animality that appear in hagiographies of mystics become focal points for anxiety about moral uncertainty and the pious subject's uncanny otherness to itself. Critics of hagiographies frequently complained of the murkiness of moral standards, the blurring of boundaries between right and wrong, the spread of hypocrisy, and the difficulty in distinguishing true friends of God from impostors. It is into this context of moral uncertainty and the unreliability of pious signs that the hagiography of the contemporary friend of God enters as a technology of the self. This chapter considers the friend of God's inner eye, which it argues is the product of multiple converging instrumentalizations, such as the use of imaging technologies in various contexts and the bureaucratization of piety in the service of state interests.

Keywords:   animality, hagiographies, moral uncertainty, hypocrisy, friends of God, pious signs, self, inner eye, imaging technologies, bureaucratization of piety

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