عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper, by focusing on the historical importance of the mosque in the Iranian context and its political role in the dynamics of the 1979 Iranian revolution, argues that the mosque, as a historically influential institution of Iranian society, has not received scholarly attention. With this regard, the paper asks: What is the proper theoretical framework within which the mosque and its historical transformations could be studied and explained? After that, by examining the English scholarly literature on the role of the mosque in the 1979 Iranian revolution, the paper will try to show that two main theoretical frameworks (influenced by dominant theories of development), mainly “modernization” and “ideological” frameworks, have shaped the prepositions of these studies about the role of religious institutions in Iranian society. Next, through the analysis of the relationship between social theory and development theory, the paper claims that the “colonial” discourse has not only influenced the mainstream social theory but also prevented development theory from understanding the real dynamics of Muslim societies. The paper argues that to overcome the shortcomings of development theory in explaining the transformations of Muslim societies, we need to: a) critically comprehend Western development theories; b) concentrate on historically influential religious, cultural and social institutions in the Iranian context. After mentioning the most important characteristics of Islamic-Iranian model of progress as an alternative development paradigm, the article suggests that the mosque and its historical transformations in Iranian society could be sociologically studied within the theoretical framework of such an alternative paradigm.