Typology of Politics in the Gnostic-Noetic System of Mulla Mohsen Feyz Kashani

Document Type : Original Article

Author

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

10.22081/jips.2022.73513

Abstract

Feyz Kashani was among the well-known personages in Isfahan school of thought, who has reconciled various tendencies. He was an Akhbari (i.e. traditionalist)[1] jurist with gnostic thoughts and philosophical method. Feyz’s perception of politics, as a thinker contemporary to philosophical renaissance of the Isfahan school, was under the influence of his tendencies and noetic,[2] philosophical and gnostic system. He considers the universe as the place for manifestation of divine knowledge, and the man as a theosophist being who covers the path towards knowing God. This wayfaring towards God is some kind of politics as well because the goal of politics and religion is the man’s felicity. This article aims at exploring the political thought of one of the most important intellectual figures of Isfahan school, and using the method of analysis of noetic system, we are seeking to investigate types of politics in Feyz Kashani’s view with an emphasis on two treatises entitled Āʾīna Shāhī and Rafʿ al-Fitna. The main question of this article is as follows: “What is the relationship between the gnostic-noetic system and Feyz Kashani’s attitude towards politics, and what has been the effect of this attitude on his typology of politics?” The results we obtained from this study show that Feyz’s noetic system has a direct relation with his political attitude and, accordingly, he maintains that the true politics – which is a type of politics of external state – is dependent on the politics of the soul or the internal state, i.e. the human state. On the basis of the relationship between these two principles, Feyz Kashani offers a typology of politics in proportion to his noetic-gnostic system. He speaks of these two types and five types of politics and state in the practical level. Here, we explain them.

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