American Lectures in the History of Religion featuring Fatemeh Keshavarz


Location: Hesburgh Center for International Studies

"Speaking Truth to Power: Candid Conversations with the Divine"

Within Islamic poetic traditions, the conversations addressed to God have at times been less than smooth agreements. In classical Persian literature, the daring/blasphemous assertions of Omar Khayyam (d. 1131) are well-known.  This presentation suggests that candid conversations with the Divine were not limited to skeptics. Nor did they neatly fit into the “rebellion versus obedience” binary. Believing mystics often used the dynamics of ambivalence, doubt, inquiry and sarcasm to open up a fresh poetic arena in which to redefine popular perceptions of the sacred presence. In the process, they demanded divine justice – and by extension the attention of the political and religious authorities – to marginalized issues and classes. 

Chair of American Studies and former AAR President, Thomas Tweed, will provide introductory remarks on the history of the AAR and ALHR.

All are welcome.