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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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Authority in Experience

Authority in Experience

(p.166) 18 Authority in Experience
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the place of personal experience in contemporary Iranian spirituality, What is known as “experience” is equivalent to the Persian word tajrobeh (Arabic tajriba). The sense of tajriba is linked as scientific experiment or methodical empirical observation to Spiritism. As a kind of experience associated with cumulative learning and mastery over time, a sense of tajrobeh comes close to the German concept of Erfahrung. This chapter first considers the concept of “heart” before discussing tajrobeh in terms of Erlebnis, experience that is more personal, immediate, intense, and perhaps ineffable than what Erfahrung implies. It then explores the views of Arezu Khanum on heart, Abdol-Karim Soroush on religiosity, and Mostafa Malekiyan on spirituality and religious experience. It also shows that in the twentieth century, the terms tajrobeh and Erlebnis converged in Iranian reformist formulations of “religious experience” inspired by modern European thinkers.

Keywords:   personal experience, tajrobeh, heart, Erlebnis, Arezu Khanum, Abdol-Karim Soroush, religiosity, Mostafa Malekiyan, spirituality, religious experience

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