Mohsen Kadivar

Philosopher, University lecturer, cleric and activist

Mohsen Kadivar (b. 1959) is an Iranian philosopher, University lecturer, cleric and activist. After completing his primary and secondary education in Shiraz, Mohsen Kadivar was admitted into electronic engineering at Shiraz University in 1977. During this time, Kadivar became active politically and was arrested in 1978 in Shiraz because of his political beliefs. He switched his focus to religious education and began attending Shiraz Seminary in 1980. He moved to Qom in 1981 to pursue his studies in fiqh and philosophy. In Qom, he was taught by prominent teachers like Ayatollah Hossein-Al Montazeri. Kadivar graduated with a degree in ijtihad in 1997. Then he went on to get his PhD in Islamic philosophy and theology from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran in 1999. Kadivar started his career as a teacher teaching fiqh and Islamic philosophy at Qom Seminary. Later he began teaching Islamic philosophy and theology at Imam Sadegh University, Mofid University, and Shahid Beheshti University. He started a decade of teaching at the department of philosophy at Tarbiat Modarres University. In 2007 political pressures forced Kadivar to leave his teaching appointment for a position at the Research Center of Iranian Institute of Philosophy. Currently, he is a faculty member of the Department of Islamic Philosophy at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and is currently a visiting professor of religious studies at Duke University after spending the 2008-2009 academic year at the University of Virginia. Dissent Kadivar is a prominent critic of the Islamic Republic system in Iran. Because of his criticisms, Kadivar was convicted by the Special Court for Clergy in 1999, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison on charges of having spread false information about Iran's "sacred system of the Islamic Republic" and of helping enemies of the Islamic revolution. He was released from Evin Prison, on July 17, 2000. Kadivar is currently active within the various reform movements of Iran.