Secularization Signs in Shi’ite Clergymen’s Everyday Life: A Case Study in Tehran, Iran

By Zainab Mesgartehrani.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 24, 2016 $US5.00

Do clergymen experience secularization in their ‎everyday lives, despite their initial opposition to it? The present work attempts to answer ‎this question by looking for signs of secularization in the everyday lives of clergymen. The data were collected through direct observation and semi-structured interviews. To select the seventeen clergymen as participants, purposeful sampling and the snowball method were used, and the results were then classified into nine ‎clusters. The results found that one of the most prevalent ‎reasons for the emergence of secularization is a tendency to ‎coexist with their society, which teaches clergymen to avoid absolutistic views. Social and religious identities have also changed with the adaptation to a modern lifestyle. Clergymen move toward a prioritization of their needs based on the demands of their jobs, welfare, and ‎ interests and, finally, move toward a more worldly life. Exposure to communication tools and being informed about global cultures make ‎clergymen transform particular cultural values and soften the atmosphere in society based on present and future ‎needs. Furthermore, these changes reduce the need for traditional clerical structures and help clergymen continue their lives ‎on the basis of their awareness, thought, and individual independence. This issue leads to growth ‎in empiricism, materialism, and rationality; change in attitudes toward traditions and beliefs; and attention ‎to adjusting to extreme religious attitudes.‎

Keywords: Secularization, Clergymen, Everyday Life, Phenomenology, Iran

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.71-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 24, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 409.629KB)).

Zainab Mesgartehrani

PhD Candidate, Department of Cultural Sociology, Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)