Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät, Max-Weber-Kolleg, Seminar für Religionswissenschaft, SPF Religion. Gesellschaft. Weltbeziehung., SPF Wissen. Räume. Medien., Forschung, Veranstaltungen

The Mystical Appeal of a Revolution: Classified Documents, Islamic Third Worldism, and Iran in 1983

29. Apr 2024, 4.15 pm - 5.45 pm
Research building "Weltbeziehungen" (C19)
Monday Lectures in Religious, Social and Cultural Studies
Max-Weber-Kolleg, Seminar for Religious Studies & Theological Research Centre
Dr Simon Wolfgang Fuchs
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As part of the Monday Lectures in Religious, Social and Cultural Studies, Dr Simon Wolfgang Fuchs will speak on "The Mystical Appeal of a Revolution: Classified Documents, Islamic Third Worldism, and Iran in 1983".

For a brief moment in 1979 and 1980, post-revolutionary Iran emerged as the torch bearer of Third Worldism. Liberation movements from South America to Southeast Asia flocked to Tehran in the hope to receive solidarity, a base of operation, financial assistance, and even weapons. While this love affair quickly cooled, Iran did not give up to look for friends in the wider “Muslim world.” His talk draws on several hundreds of pages of top-secret Persian documents, gathered during fieldwork in Iran in 2019, to shine light on how elements within the Iranian regime tried to test the waters in 1983. They sent out several delegations in conjunction with the fourth anniversary of the revolution in February 1983. These groups traveled to Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenia, Tanzania, and Madagascar. Their members filed individual and very frank accounts of their travels, of the problems they faced, and whom they met. Fuchs shows that, despite logistical mishaps and poor intelligence, the Iranian message of anti-imperialism and Muslim solidarity still found eager takers in the early 1980s. What is most intriguing, however, is that the figure of Khomeini and mystical interpretations of Islam seem to have been crucial elements in selling the Iranian brand of Islamic Third Worldism


The event will take place hybrid. To participate online, follow the link below.

(Meeting-Password: X8Ty5TFQ6ZJ)

Webex event


Christoph Günther
Dr. Christoph Günther
Heisenberg position (Islamic Studies)
(Faculty of Philosophy)
Lehrgebäude 4 / Raum E 20