General Anthropology Division
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
In recent years, Iran has problematized a matter that was previously considered less significant and, yet, that now draws greater attention from its religious establishment; the environment. While significantly increasing its efforts to bolster the industrial sectors of the economy, Iran has experienced severe environmental problems in the last few decades, especially those pertinent to the air, water, and soil. What was used to be outside of Islamic concerns has now become contentions of heated debates among religious leaders as well as environmental scientists, among others. These debates freshly give rise to diverse interpretations of Islam, thereby shaping and being shaped by the conditions of modernity in Iran in which the governance of the state is increasingly organized through scientific rationality.
Drawing on fieldwork conducted from 2016 through 2019, this work highlights contemporary debates concerning the environment among religious leaders in Iran and examines how Islam as a conceptual framework is being employed and practiced to address environmental problems. In doing so, it sheds light on its religious sentiment and tradition that are unfolding along with modern scientific knowledge increasingly practiced in a variety of fields, including those of the environment. This work makes a scholarly contribution in anthropology by demonstrating the ways in which knowledge production concerning the environment contingently takes place through the distinctive relations of Islam and science in the country.