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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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Discretion and Publicity

Discretion and Publicity

(p.191) 21 Discretion and Publicity
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the frictions that exist between nongovernmental projects for promoting piety and those initiatives that are explicitly aligned with the interests of the state, paying specific attention to the importance of discretion in the ethics of hagiographic writing. Disputes concerning friends of God can be divided into those over the manner in which these men are to be represented and those over what qualifies a man as God's friend. The problem of representation can itself be broken down into questions about the ethics of writing about friends and the place of the marvel in these texts. This chapter considers the problem of representation by focusing on the hagiographies of Shaykh Jaʻfar Mojtahedi and Shaykh Rajab ʻAli the tailor. It also discusses various criticisms against marvels, including the argument that they are distractions not only for the readers of hagiographies but even for the friends of God who possess them.

Keywords:   piety, discretion, ethics, hagiographic writing, friends of God, representation, marvels, hagiographies, Shaykh Jaʻfar Mojtahedi, Shaykh Rajab ʻAli the tailor

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