Sociology and Anthropology

Ahmad Sadri

Ahmad Sadri

Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology

Sociology and Anthropology


Sociology of Intellectuals
Sociology of Religion
Politics of Iran and Middle East


Iran and the Middle East
Reform in Islam
Reform in Iran


PhD New School for Social Research
MA New School for Social Research
MA Teheran University
BA Teheran University

Courses Taught

Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology of Intellectuals
Sociological Theory
Sociology of Film
History of Social Thought 

Honors and Awards

James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, 20072010

Bird Award for Intellectual Contributions to the Campus Community at Lake Forest College, 1999  

American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR/USIA) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Amman, Jordan, February-August, 1997

William L. Dunn Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarly Promise, Lake Forest  College, 1994

United Nations Development Program award of teaching under the auspices of Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN Phase II) Plan for five weeks in Iran, 1993 

National Endowment for Humanities summer seminar participant, University of Chicago, 1990

Ph.D. program Fellowship for Democratic Studies Awarded by the New School for Social Research, New York, 1981

Ph.D. Program Scholarship in Sociology Awarded by Farabi University. Teheran, for Advanced Study in Sociology at the New School for Social Research, 197881


Max Weber’s Sociology of Intellectuals, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Selected as one of the “outstanding academic books” of 1993 by Choice Magazine, January 1994. * Paperback edition, 1994.  This book is translated into Korean and Persian, by Mohsen Abniki, Tehran: Kavir Press, 2007.

Apocalypse Tomorrow and other Essays: Investigations in Sociologies of Religion and Politics, Translated to Persian by Amirhossein Teymoori, Kavir Press, Tehran, March, 2007.

Saddam City, London, Saqi Books, 2004. Translated from Arabic. This book is translated into Italian by Luisa Baggi, in 2005.  Publisher: Edizioni Spartaco.

The Necessity of Reviving The Concept of Civilization in Social Sciences, Tehran: Hermes and Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations, 2001. This book is in Persian.

Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam: Essays by Abdolkarim Soroush, New York, Oxford University Press 2000, Co-translator: Mahmoud Sadri. Translated from Persian. This book is translated into Indonesian by Haidar Bagir, Publisher: Penerbit Mizan.


Historical Accidents and Collective Learning in Iran, Published in Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, French and Indonesian in Common Ground News Service, May 20, 2008.

What is a Vote Worth In Iran?  Published in Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, French and Indonesian in Common Ground News Service, April 29, 2008. This article was also picked up by in Turkish Daily News on May 4, 2008 and Daily Star of Lebanon, May 5, 2008.

Weber and the Straussian Charge of Relativism, in: Max Weber Matters: Interweaving Past and Present, ed. Marisol Lopez Menendez, Fanon Howell, Hector Vera, and David Chalcraft. Ashgate Publishers, 2008.

Three Faces of Dissent: Cognitive, Expressive and Traditional Discourses in Contemporary Iran in: Iran in 21st Century, ed. Homa Katuzian and Hossein Shahidi, Rutledge, October 2007, Co-author: Mahmoud Sadri.

300 Takes Stereotyping to New Levels, Daily Star, April 2, 2007

Playing into Radicals Hands, Inter-religious Insight, April 2006:

Islam and Dialogue of Civilizations, Journal of Globalization for Common Good, 200.

Varieties of Religious Reform in Iran, Politics, Culture and Society, Winter 2001, Volume 15, Number 2.   The above article was reprinted in: Iran between Tradition and Modernity, (Landham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, February 2004.)

Civilizational Imagination and Ethnic Coexistence, in: Handbook of Inter-ethnic Coexistence, Continuum Press, 1998.

Searchers: The New Iranian Film, Brochure of the Chicago Film Festival, 1997.

“Doppleganger: Twins’ Disruption of the Assumptions of Constancy and Uniqueness of Self in Everyday Life,” Symbolic Interaction, Summer 1994, Volume 17, Number 2, Co-author: Mahmoud Sadri.

“Adjusting to the World According to Salman Rushdie,” in: The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility, ed. Carol Becker (New York: Routledge, 1994).

Reinventing the Wheel of Democracy: An Exercise in Intercivilizational Exchange,” in Under Siege: Islam and Democracy, ed. Richard W. Bulliet (New York: Columbia University Middle East Institute, 1994).

The Second Death of the Soul of the Salesman,” Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1992.

“What Rushdie Wrote and Wrought,” Politics, Culture and Society, Vol. 4, No .3, Spring 1991.

“A Business Ethics for Post Liberal Capitalism” Politics, Culture and Society, Vol.1, No. 4, Summer, 1988.

“Intercultural Understanding: Leo Strauss and Max Weber.” Politics, Culture and Society, Vol.1, No.3, Spring 1988. Coauthor: Mahmoud Sadri. This article is reprinted as a chapter in The Living Legacy of Marx, Durkheim and Weber: Applications and Analysis of Classical Sociological Theory by Modern Social Scientists. New York: Gordian Knot Books, 1998).

“Max Weber and the Southwest German School: Remarks on the Genesis of the Concept of the Historical Individual,” Politics, Culture and Society, Vol.1, No.1, Fall 1987.

“The Mantle of the Prophet: A Critical Postscript,” State, Culture and Society, Vol.1, No.3, Spring, 1985. Co-author: Mahmoud Sadri.

“Max Weber’s Sociology of Religion as a Sociology of Intellectuals,” State, Culture and Society, Vol.1, No.2, Winter 1985.

Media Presentations

Invited panelist at Chicago Military Library’s series: Front and Center with John Calloway. November 11, 2007

Invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View,” November 5th, 2007

Discussed the movie Half Moon for Iranian Film Festival premier, October 6th 2007.
Delivered a review of the movie 300 for the nationally broadcast “All Things Considered” on April 14th, 2007

Interviewed by BBC, program Ticket to respond to the views of Zack Snyder, director of the movie 300.

Reviewed the movie 300 for Jerome McDonald’s World View at National Public Radio show “World View.” 

Featured on WTTW documentary for Arts in Illinois for my translation of Saddam City

Invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on July 31st, 2006.

Invited guest of Milt Rosenberg at “Extension 720,” WGM Radio on July 25th, 2006.

Five times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on February 3, June 19th, June 23rd  September 1st, December 15th 2005.

Invited guest at Focus 580, National Public Radio station at Champaign, IL August 24th, 2005.

Invited guest at the BBC Persian Service, September 9th 2005.

 I was interviewed by International French Radio on October 8, 2004, on the terrorist operations in Egypt.

I had an interview with WILL AM radio, an NPR affiliate in Urbana-Champaign on Wed., August 18th  2004.

I was interviewed live on Alajzeerah TV show “From Washington” on August 19th 2004.

Participant in a round table at Voice of America where the topic was The Legacy of the Islamic Republic after 25 years, Thursday February 19, 2004.

Twice Invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on January 13th, February 3, July 10th 2004.

Invited guest of Milt Rosenberg at the “Extension 720,” 9 to11 PM, on January 16th 2004.

 Invited guest of Voice of America TV program, “On the Line” roundtable about Human Rights in Iran.  July 25, 2003.

Invited guest of Phara Charmchi at Pacifica Radio, 90.1 fm, KPFT in Houston TX and Galvestonat 89.5 FM on Thursday, June 19, 2003.

Invited guest of David Ings at NPR station in Urbana, Champain program “Focus 580” at WILL 580 AM Urbana. Wednesday June 11th, 2003.

Twice invited guest of Milt Rosenberg at the Extension 720, 9 to11 PM, March 25th and April 24th 2003.

Invited guest of BBC, Roundtable on resignation of the parliamentarians, May 12th 2003.

Seven times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on January 17th, March 24th, May 27th, June 17th, July 9th, September 2nd, October 14, 2003.

 Invited guest of Reza Tehrani of BBC on the Evening Persian Service, December 4th, 2002.

Twice Invited guest of Amir Mossadegh Katuzian at Radio Liberty, Prague, September 28 and October 11, 2002.

Invited commentator on the news show on WKRS 1220 AM, September 12, 2002. 

Twice invited guest of Farangees Rahimi on a show entitled: Iranian Religious Intellectuals at the French Radio International Persian Service, August 26, 2002 and November 1st, 2002.  The latter was also reported in two Iranian dailies Hayat-e Now and Iran on November 3rd, 2002.

Invited guest of Sholeh Sadre on a show entitled: Democracy and Islam at Sydney Broadcast System (SBS), Australian Persian Service, July 9th, 2002.

Invited guest of Laura Knoy at the National Public Radio show The Exchange (WBUR, New Hampshire) on March 26th 2002.

Six times Invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on January 15th and March 26th September 5th, September 27th, November 18th, December 10th, 2002.

 Five times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on January 22nd, April 11th, June 11th, September 27th, and October 31, 2001.

 Seven times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View on January 10th, February 2nd and 18th, April 26th, March 14th, July 10th and August 30th. 2000.

Five times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View” on August 14th, September 17th, September 30th, October 28th and, November 12th, 1999.

 Six times invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the National Public Radio show “World View, September 21st October 21st, June 19, March 6th and, March 23rd.

Invited guest of Grechen Helfrich at the WBEZ, National Public Radio show “Odyssey,” March 6th, 1998.

Invited guest of Jerome McDonald at the WBEZ, National Public Radio show “World View,” December 22nd, 1998.

Invited especial guest at the half-hour interview program “Encounter,” Jordanian Television, Channel 2, August 15th, 1998.

Invited Talks

Invited speaker at the United State Senate Informational conference: Breaking the Impasse, April 14th 2008 +  Questions and Answers:

 Invited speaker at State and Society in Constitutional Revolution, Oslo, Norway, April 2007.

 Invited speaker at Dialogue Among Civilizations, at El Colegio de San Luis, Mexico, October 13-15, 2005.

Invited speaker at Quest series, College of Lake County.  The topic: Recent Developments in Iran, November 14th, 2005.

Invited speaker at Common Ground, Deer Field.  The topic: Post-Enlightenment Islam in Iran.  February 17, 2005.

Invited speaker at Lake Shore Unitarian Society.  The topic: Cutting edge reform in Iran.  February 6th 2005.

 Invited speaker at Common Ground, Deer Field.  The topic: Post-Enlightenment Islam in Iran.  February 25, 2004.

Invited speaker at Discovery lectures series at College of Lake County, Vernon Hills Campus.  Topic: Iran, Iraq and American Foreign Policy , February 26 and March 4, 2004.

 Invited member of the panel, Graham School of the University of Chicago and Sister Cities International: Politics, Diplomacy and the Press, November 17th 2003.

Invited speaker, DePaul University seminar: Is America and Empire.  October 12, 2003.

Invited speaker, Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council, Rodfei Zedek Congregation:  Suicide Terrorism as a Sociological Concept. May 29th 2003.

Invited Speaker, Northwestern University, Center for International and Comparative Studies:  Democracy and Islam:  Political Transformation in Iran, May 1st 2003.

Invited Speaker, Winnetka Women’s Club:  The Middle East Crisis and the Bush Doctrine, April 15th, 2003.

Invited speaker at the Wesleyan University of Ohio on American Islam:  Promise or Epithet? March 6th, 2003.

Invited commentator in the International Conference “Hierarchy and Power in the History of Civilizations, organized by Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. July 4-7, 2001. The daylong panel was dedicated to examining my theory of civilizational imagination proposed in my 1998 article.

Invited to deliver a series of four seminars for the faculty at the College of Lake County. The series entitled The Milieus and Provenance of Terrorism is sponsored by the Learning and Teaching Center at the College of Lake County. April 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.

Invited to deliver a lecture at College of Lake County, June 18th, 2002.

Invited to deliver the Annual Yale Maria Lecture at the University of New Hampshire. March 6th, 2002.

Invited to deliver a lecture at Williams College entitled:  Iran:  From Rebellion to Reform. March 5th, 2002.
Invited to deliver a lecture at Roosevelt University entitled:  Islamism and Terrorism, February 6th, 2002.

Invited to deliver a lecture at Harper College entitled:  Terrorism, East and West, November 5th, 2001.

Invited to deliver a lecture at the College of Lake County entitled:  Provenance of the idea of terrorism in the Middle East, October 10th, 2001.

Invited to deliver a lecture at Shimer College entitled:  Understanding Religious Terrorism. October 12th, 2001.

Invited speaker at Cultural Connections in Winnetka entitled From Ancient Persia to Evolving Republic. On April 15, 2000.

Invited speaker at the Seminar of University, Society and Islamic Culture, November 28-29, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, 1999.

Invited speaker and featured participant, at the conference entitled:  “Inter-ethnic Coexistence:  Shaping Education for an Emerging Global Field”, sponsored by Brandies University, March 29, 1998.

Invited speaker at the Mo’tah University, Jordan, July 6, 1997.

Invited speaker at the international conference entitled:  “The Artist in Society:  Rights, Roles, and Responsibilities, October 1994, School of the Art Museum of Chicago, Sponsored by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Art Institute of Chicago. October 13-15, 1994.

Invited speaker at “Faithworks Seminar” sponsored by the National Council of Churches at Purdue University, July 1994.

Keynote speaker at “Meeting Grounds” Sponsored by “Culture in Action,” “Randolph Street Gallery” and “Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest International Artists Program.” November 1993.

Invited speaker at the conference entitled:  Under Siege:  Islam and Democracy, Sponsored by Columbia University, Middle East Institute, June 1993.

Invited speaker at the Bielefeld University Seminar on Sociology of Development, January 1993.

Invited speaker at an interfaith round table sponsored by the Church of the United Nations, the Temple of Understanding, October 1990.

Book Reviews

Foucault and the Iranian Revolution, Janet Afary and William Anderson, University of Chicago Press, 2005.  In: Contemporary Sociology, September 2006, Volume 35, Number 5, pp. 494-5.

Public Religion in Modern World, Jose Casanova, Inter-Religious Insight, July 2005.

Deciphering the Meaning of Revealed Law: The Sorushian Paradigm in Shi`i Epistemology, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 36, 2004, pp. 333-34.  This review is available on line at: The above review was translated into Persian and published at Shargh newspaper in Iran on January 2, 2005

“Islam between Politics and Culture,” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, November 2003, Volume 35, Number 3, pp. 519, 20.

“Fragile Resistance,” Middle Eastern Studies Association Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 1, July 1994.

“Intellectuals and Politics,” Social Forces, Volume 17, Number 3, March 1994.

“Religious Regimes and State Formation: Perspectives in European Ethnology,” Sociological Analysis, Vol.53, No.4. Winter 1992.

“Holy Wars: the Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism,” Sociological Analysis, Vol.51, No.3, Fall 1990.

Editorial Columns and their Internet reprints

Znet Article: Exact Opposite of Paranoia, Jun 30th, 2005

Znet Article: With a Little Bit of Democracy, June 21st 2005

Znet Article: Banana Free Republic of Dr. Ahmadinejad, July 8th 2005

Znet Interview: Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Conquest of Iraq and Democracy in Iran, Daily Star, April 2, 2003

Why Americans Wanted This Bloodbath? Daily Star, April 5, 2003.
Also in: Iranian:

Daily Star Article: The End of the Road for Khatamism, Daily Star, March 27, 2003.
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: Political Paralysis Syndrome: the Case of Iran, May 3, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: Tough Choices or Just Tough Luck, May 12, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: American Innocence regained: American Movies after 9/11, June 1, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: To Resign or not to Resign? June, 15, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: The Luxury of Anonymity, July 11, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: Nuclear Club Members Kicking Sand on Muscle Beach, July 21, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article: Khatami Lost His Nerve but there is Still Work to be Done, July 30, 2003
Also in Iranian:
Also in Iran-Press:

Daily Star Article: A Killing Iran Might Not Be Able to Shake: September 10, 2003

Daily Star Article: A Death in Mashad Where Heroin is Cheaper than Cigarettes” October 7, 2003
Also in Iranian:

Daily Star Article:A Nobel for Shirin Ebadi, October 13, 2003
Also in
Also in Free Public:

Daily Star Article: American, Iranian Counter-elites mirror each other December 19, 2003
Also in Campus Watch:

Daily Star Article: From Islamic Republic to Islamic Caliphate, February 17th, 2004

Daily Star Article: A Persian Meditation on Madrid in Athens, March 2004
Also in:
Also in:

Daily Star Article: Dominos of Iraqi Invasion, April 2004
Also in:

Daily Star Article: Beware of Millenarians’ Self fulfilling Prophecies, May 18, 2004 
Also in:
Also in:
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Internet Publications (all currently available)

On the Mohammad cartoons fiasco, January 20, 2006
Playing into radical hands

SCUBA Salvation

Not Private Anymore

Me, You, Tree and Rain

Please Accept our Sincere Apologies: Sociology of Abu Ghraib

Frodo’s Hunch: No Man is Willingly Just

Challenging the Government of God
Also at:

Who Lost the World

Still Alive

World War III

A Tall Order


Reason and Revelation

Let the Occasional Chalice Break

Echoes of Kierkegaard and Locke

The New Iranian Cinema

Reintroducing the Wheel

Another Look at Rushdie

Publications in Persian

Articles in Persian:

On the Occasion of Pope’s Visit to the United States, Etemade Melli, May 4, 2008

Published lecture on Sociology of Religious practices, Etemade Melli, April 7th, 2008

Published interview on Persian books: Sociology of Intellectuals, Apocalypse Impending, Etemade Melli, Baran, March 5th, 2008

Flowers of Democracy and its Thorns, Baran site 

Critique of Irresponsible Expressions of the Leaders of Islamic Republic, Etemade Melli, October 30, 2007 

Two explanations of Bolenger’s Belligerence, Etemade Melli, October 3rd, 2007

Towards Perpetual Peace, Etemade Melli, September 16, 2007

Reason, Violence and Religion According to the Pope: Etemade Melli, August 4th, 2007

A Chapter from Sociology of Intellectual, Etemade Melli, June, 15, 2007

Persians and Greeks in Snyder’s 300, Etemade Melli, March, 2007.

Futurology and the New Year, Etemade Melli, March 2007

We are all Chackmated, Hamehkishim, Rouzegar, Number 1,
Academic excellence and supervision, Iran, October 25, 2006

Variety is the Spice of Life, Shargh, August 1st, 2006
Also at: Tanavo namake zendegist Variety if the salt of life, August 6, 2006

Revolutionary or Reformist Intellectuality.  Shargh, July 5th, 2005

Diving into Sociology, Iran, July 22nd, 2005

Let us Tune Our Instruments Anew, Shargh, June 20th, 2005

Cosmopolitan and Native Intellectuals: Why? Shargh, November 9th, 2004

The Method of Realism Shargh, October 21st 2004

Cosmopolitan and Native Intellectuals: A New Classification, Shargh, October 6th, 2004

Fundamentalism in Iran and US

Justifying War in the Name of Peace, Shargh, year One, Numbers 29. September 30th, 2003.

The Penury of the Concept of Clash of Civilizations, Year One, Number 32, October 4th, 2003.

US Wishes to be Straight Forward, Aftab-e Yazd, Number 1035, September 7th, 2003.

The Concept of Resignation and Iran’s Reform Movement, Aftaab, Third Year,  Number 29, August 2003.

Political Paralysis Syndrome, Aftaab Third Year, Number 29, September 2003

Abdolkarim Soroush and the types of reformism: Aftaab Number 22, February 2003, pp. 70-75.  Translated from English by Amirhossein Teymouri.

Who Lost the World, Aftaab Number 19 September 2002.  Translated from English by  Amirhossein Teymouri.

Odysseus or Achilles, Hamshahri, September 27, 2001.  Translated from English.

Fundamentalism Against the Modern State, Kian, Vol. 8, No.45, February /March 1999.

The Making of Foreign Policy in the United States, Round Table Discussion, The Middle East Studies Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 3 & 4, Fall, 1998.

Religious Pluralism, Kian, Vol.5, No.28, Dec/Jan 1995-96

“Huntington’s Apparition of Clashing Civilizations,” in: Huntington and his critiques, Tehran: Institute for Research in Foreign Policy, 1995.

“Max Weber and his Research Project,” Houzeh va Daneshgah, Vol. 1, No.4, Fall 1995.

“Max Weber and Intercultural Understanding, Houzeh va Daneshgah, Vol.1, Winter 1994.

“Round table discussions about Postmodernism,” Kian, September 1993.

“The Consequences of Ideologizing Religion”, Kian, September 1993.

“An Introduction to Intellectuals,” Kian, July 1993.

“Round table discussions about Ideology and citizenship,” Hamshahri, March 1993.

“Round table discussions about intellectuals and development,” Hamshahri, April 1993.

“Morality and Family in Ancient Persian texts,” Teheran College of Educators Press, Teheran 1977.

“Alienation and the Sociology of Leisure,” Teheran college of Educators Press.

“Political Elites in the Qajar Period,” M.A thesis University of Teheran.

“The Intellectuals, “Azarakhsh, The Faculty of Economics Journal, University of Teheran, 1974.