Despite repeated openings in the 1990s and after 2011, most of contemporary Muslim states and societies seem to follow an illiberal, authoritarian and path. Besides socio-economical and geopolitical reasons, religious and intellectual factors are often evoked to explain the assumed difference. Mainstream religious discourses and state sanctioned ideologies do indeed maintain a gap between Islamic tradition and liberal modernity. Yet events such as Iran’s women movement defy cultural or historical determinism. People continue to claim individual liberty and dignity while preserving religious and cultural traditions. Muslim world in fact has rich and complex intellectual resources with a strong, if still rather unknown or unmapped, modernist trend. This trend is not necessarily Westernised and secularised but often draws resources from a rationalist, pluralist or spiritual reading of Islamic tradition. Especially the Iranian and Turkish intellectual history counts several figures and schools that have developed rationalist approaches to religious and philosophical questioning. The aim of the seminar is to debate whether a post-Islamist, pluralist or liberal future is to be expected from internal challenges to conservative hegemonic religious discourse with scholars working on Iranian and Turkish modern and contemporary intellectual debates.Three lectures intended to general public will be followed by a debate about rationalism and liberalism in contemporary Muslim thought.