Religious Debates on the Coronavirus Pandemic in Iran

Examination of their Discourses, Rationales, and Implications


  • Satoshi Abe Kyushu University
  • Saman Jamshidi Sharif University of Technology
  • Saeed Rezaei Sharif University of Technology



COVID-19, Islam, science, Islamic medicine, Iran


Iran was one of the first countries that was severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East in February of 2020. What is unique about Iran is that religious leaders from the early stages have been involved with debates concerning its cause, preventive measures, and moral significance. Relying on textual analyses of media coverage, herein we examine religious debates in Iran that are increasingly gaining public attention amid the pandemic. Our analyses illuminate the styles of reasoning used by religious leaders to situate their understandings of the pandemic that are principally organized through the language of science. Our findings include that religious leaders are receptive to modern science, but not unquestionably. The status, application, and development of modern science is contingently shaped by the discourses and practices of Islam that religious leaders find compelling based on what they regard as a proper understanding of Islam and Islamic medicine.


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How to Cite

Abe, S., Jamshidi, S., & Rezaei, S. (2022). Religious Debates on the Coronavirus Pandemic in Iran: Examination of their Discourses, Rationales, and Implications. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 16(1), 77–98.



CLOSED-Special Issue- Religion and the Coronavirus Pandemic