Mohsen Kadivar

Mohsen Kadivar

Research Professor in the Department of Religious Studies

External address: 
Room 216 Gray Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
403 Chapel Drive, 118 Gray Bldg., Box 90964, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-3521
Office Hours: 
Thursdays 1:15-3:15 PM or by appointment


Mohsen Kadivar is a research professor of Islamic studies at the department of Religious Studies, Duke University since 2009. He earned the certificate of Ijtihad from the theologian seminary of Qom and received a PhD of Islamic Philosophy and theology from Tarbiate Modarress University in Tehran. Kadivar has published several books in Persian and Arabic and a dozen of essays in English. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic philosophy, theology, law, ethics, Qur'anic studies, Shi'i political thought, Islam and modernity (specially democracy and human rights), religion and science, religion and politics, comparative medieval philosophy and comparative religious studies. You can find more information about Kaivar’s recent works on his website:

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Tarbiat Modares University (Iran) 1999

Selected Grants

Islamic Theocracy in the Secular Age awarded by National Humanities Center (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

wissen awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2017

A Human Rights and Islamic Law Program awarded by (Faculty Member). 2013 to 2014

Kadivar, M. Al-Hokumat al-Wila’yyai (The Government of the Guardian Jurist). Mu’sasi al-Intishar al-Arabi (Arab Diffusion Company), 2015.

Kadivar, M. Hokumate Entesabi (Appointive /Non-Elective State). self-published e-book, 2014.


Kadivar, M. “Human action within divine creation: A Muslim perspective.” God’s Creativity and Human Action: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, 2017, pp. 7–22.

Nasr, S. H., and M. Aminrazavi, editors. “Marvels of Wisdom (Badayi’ al-Hikam).” An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol. 5: From School of Shiraz to Twentieth Century, translated by M. Kadivar, vol. 5, I.B.Tauris, 2015, pp. 471–88.

Kadivar, M. “Revisiting Women's Rights in Islam: 'Egalitarian Justice' in lie of 'Meritocratic Justice'.” Justice Through Equality: New Approaches to Muslim Family Law, edited by Z. Mir-Hosseini et al., I.B. Tauris, 2013, pp. 213–34.

Kadivar, M. “Routinizing the Iranian revolution.” Islam in the Modern World, 2013, pp. 351–68. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203736340. Full Text

Kadivar, M. “Wilayat al-faqih and Democracy.” Islam, the State and Political Authority, Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns, edited by A. Afsaruddin, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 207–24.

Kadivar, M. “Human Rights and Intellectual Islam.” New Directions in Islamic Thought: Exploring Reform and Muslim Tradition, edited by K. Vogt et al., I.B.Tauris, 2011, pp. 47–74.

Kadivar, M. “Theories of Government in Shi’i Fiqh.” Shi’ism, Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies Vol. 3: Law, Rite & Rituals, edited by P. Luft and C. Turner, Routledge, 2008, pp. 267–82.

Kadivar, M. “Freedom of Religion and Belief in Islam.” The New Voices of Islam: Reforming Politics and Modernity – A Reader, edited by M. Kamrava, I.B.Tauris, 2006, pp. 119–42.

Kadivar, M., and G. H. Ebrahimi Dinani. “The Ontological Initiations of the Inventive Philosopher Agha Ali Mudarres Tehrani: A Case Study of the Principality of Existence.” An Anthology of Iranian Studies, Center for Cultural and International Studies, 2002, pp. 184–213.

Kadivar, M. “Political Rights of People in Islam.” Islamic Views on Human Rights: The Viewpoints of Iranian Scholars, edited by E. Salami, Al-hoda International Publications, 2001, pp. 107–24.

Kadivar, M. “Ijtihad in Usul al-Fiqh: Reforming Islamic Thought through Structural Ijtihad.” Iran Nameh: A Persian English Quarterly of Iranian Studies, vol. 30, no. 3, University of Toronto, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Nov. 2015, pp. XX–XXVII.

Kadivar, M. “From traditional Islam to Islam as an end in itself.” Welt Des Islams, vol. 51, no. 3–4, Dec. 2011, pp. 459–84. Scopus, doi:10.1163/157006011X611632. Full Text

Kadivar, M. “Ibn Sina va Tabaqebandieh Hekmat (Avicenna & The classification of Philosophy).” The Journal of Sapiential Wisdom and Philosophy  (Sophia Perennis), edited by M. Kadivar, vol. 1, no. 1, THE IRANIAN INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY WITH THE COLLABORATION OF THE IRANIAN ACADEMY OF PHILOSOPHY, Feb. 2009, pp. 35–106.

Kadivar, M. “Political Innovative Ideas and Influences of Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khorasani.” Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies (Ajames), vol. 21, no. 1, Japan Association for Middle East Studies, Sept. 2005, pp. 59–73.