Critical reading and analysis of selected passages from the Masnavi-i ma‘navi of Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273), arguably the greatest Islamic mystical poet, whose masterwork achieved near-canonical status in the mediaeval Persianate world as “the Qur’an in Persian.” Texts will be discussed in the context of Islamic theosophical doctrines, the hermeneutics of esoteric Qur’an commentary, and the poetics of Sufism. Although all readings are in the original Persian, students of comparative religion and/or mysticism with no knowledege of the language may benefit from the course by utilizing the English translation, preparing the assigned secondary readings, and taking part in seminar discussions. All readings will be based on the edition and annotated translation by R. A. Nicholson.
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Literature)
Maria E. Subtelny