Dr. Arash Ghajarjazi
Dr. Arash Ghajarjazi is a post-doctorate fellow for the ERC Advanced Grant Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam. He received his PhD from the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University. He is interested in understanding the relations between Iranian media, Islam and sciences from the 19th century onward. More broadly, trained both as a cultural analyst as well as a historian, he explores the ways in which Islamic traditions have evolved in and as media. He approaches histories of Muslim material cultures as well as of Islamic thoughts together, understanding them as inseparable events. His research seeks balance between thick historical contextualizations and radical philosophical conceptualizations. Positioned mainly in the field of Iranian and Islamic Studies, he tends to push histories of Islam to their under-examined limits and to make concepts that can reshape understandings of the Islamic past and present. Arash joined the team of Beyond Sharia ERC project because he found its themes and questions timely and urgent. In his own contribution to the project, he is interested in examining how Islamic Sharia has been resisted, challenged, and transgressed in the Iranian intellectual context both in the past and the presence, particularly through the lens of Khayyāmic quatrains. He will examine the relationship between medieval antinomian ideas and the rise of secularism in the Iranian world, i.e., Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia., focussing on the poet Khayyam, his antinomian antecedents and the modern reception of his work.