Abstract: This dissertation aims to study the attempts made by contemporary Iranian religious modernists at reconciling Islam and democracy on the theoretical level. The prevailing theme in earlier studies on contemporary Iran has been that of Islamic resurgence or the socio-political outcome of the 1979 Revolution to the neglect of other significant issues or intellectual challenges faced by religious modernists in both the pre- and post-revolutionary eras, such as that of the problematic of Islam and democracy. The present work therefore, considers the views of certain Iranian religious modernists of the last fifty years on the question of whether Islam is theoretically compatible or incompatible with democracy. To this end, we examine the main principles of democracy and critically evaluate their parallels among Islamic norms. Then, the democratic notions of seven major Iranian religio-political thinkers are analyzed and evaluated in depth. We also try to show the perception tha! ! t these men had of democracy and of Islam, how they sought to bring the two into conformity, on what basis they structured their arguments, and how their attempt in this respect differed from that of their predecessors at the turn of the century. Among the contributions of the present work to the field is its attempt to present, for the first time, the post-revolutionary religious intellectual trend in Iran with particular reference to the problematic of Islam and democracy. This is largely accomplished through an analytical study of its leading figure, Abdulkarim Soroush. The result suggests that his attempt is an unprecedented one in terms of content, method and consequences. Indeed it is a watershed in Shī'ite religious modernism in general and in the debate over the compatibility of Islam with democracy, in particular.