Dariush Shayegan, born in Tabriz in 1935, laid much of the philosophical groundwork for the “dialogue between civilizations.” In the 1960s, under the tutelage of French philosopher Henry Corbin, a leading scholar of Persian mysticism, Shayegan obtained his doctorate from the Sorbonne. During the 1970s, he taught at Tehran University and founded the Iranian Center for the Study of Civilizations. In 1980, he left again for Paris, where he headed the new Institute for Ismaili Studies. Over the next dozen years there, he published several books, with a particular focus on the Muslim world’s maladaptation to modernity. Though an unflinching critic of the Revolution, he returned to Iran in the early 1990s. Until his death in 2018, he traveled regularly between Paris and Tehran, producing books on cross-cultural exchange, Persian verse, Proust, and Baudelaire.

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