Women’s Everyday Religious Discourse in Iran

  • Zahra Kamalkhani
Part of the Women’s Studies at York Series book series (WSYS)


The focal point of this Chapter is the Muslim religious gatherings of Iranian women, rowzeh-zanāneh and jaleseh,1 hereafter referred to simply as rowzeh, in the town of Shiraz. These involve complex rituals of nazr (vowing), meetings, regular Koranic classes, and memorial ceremonies. During the two holy months of Ramazān and Moharam the gatherings are arranged by private initiators in homes or public religious buildings with a female preacher, reyseh-jaleseh, as the central person directing the action. These women’s religious institutions should be considered as an important form of women’s subsociety and a key factor in signalling local identity.


Muslim Woman Islamic State Religious Knowledge Religious Woman Fervent Supporter 
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Further Reading

  1. Laal Jamzadeh and Margaret Mills, ‘Iranian Sofreh: From Collectivity to Female Ritual’, in (ed) C. W. Bynum, S. Harrell and P. Richman (eds), Gender and Religion (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  2. Gustav Thaiss, ‘The Conceptualization of Social Change Through Metaphor’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, vol. XIII, no. 1–2 (1978), pp. 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Haleh Afshar 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahra Kamalkhani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of BerganNorway

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