Gain deeper understanding and appreciation, expand your knowledge base, and reconsider some ideas you might already have about Islam through this continuing academic lecture series, in partnership with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.
In this third lecture of the series, the University of Chicago's Franklin Lewis will present an introduction to Sufism by way of the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi, and Rumi's most well-known work, the Masnavi. Sufism is a mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Bring your questions to the discussion, or email them in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature and the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Lewis teaches courses on classical and modern Persian literature and language, medieval Islamic thought and literature, Islamic mysticism, Iranian cinema, and translation history and theory. He is particularly interested in the intersections of literature and religion, especially mystical and esoteric traditions, including Sufi thought and theology. His ongoing interest in Rumi is reflected in his publications, including a book of literary translations of Rumi's poems and a guest-edited special journal issue focusing on the current state of Rumi studies.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is active locally, regionally, and nationally in its goal of enhancing public knowledge of the Middle East. The Middle East Education Initiative coordinates all Center outreach programs and routinely collaborates with K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions, museums and libraries, journalists and news media organizations, cultural and religious groups, diplomatic circles, and the public and private sectors. CMES draws on the critical expertise of scholars and specialists from the University of Chicago community and around the country to promote a descriptive and critical understanding of North Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and the wider Islamic world in both historical and contemporary contexts.
Mark your calendar for upcoming events in this series:
- March 21: The Origins and Historical Evolution of Islamic Civilization,
- April 18: Jewish-Muslim relations, and
- May 16 (series finale): Community Voices.