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AbstractThe essay deals with the work of contemporary Iranian Shia philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush and consists of two chapters. The first chaper analyzes the Iranian intellectual tradition in the second half of the 20th century with special concern for the newly established connection between Islam and the political in the new religious ideologies. This process is ilustrated by brief analysis of Jalal Al-e Ahmad's, 'Ali Shari'ati's and Ruhollah Khomeini's thought. The second chapter covers analysis of Sorush's thought, which partly responds to theese ideologies. In this part, the analysis focuses on Sorush's theory of expansion and contraction of religious knowledge and his conception of religious democratic government.