American Lectures in the History of Religion featuring Fatemeh Keshavarz


Location: Hesburgh Center for International Studies

"Echoes in the Cosmic Chamber: Love’s Voice in the Poems of Hafez"

Known as the “tongue of the unseen,” Hafez of Shiraz (d. 1390) is to this day popularly believed to be speaking with a knowledge nourished by the divine and inaccessible to ordinary mortals. Scholars such as Annemarie Schimmel have compared his lyrics to perfectly polished diamonds. This presentation lays out the geography – and the poetic cosmology - of the seamlessly connected spaces within which our poet moved.  It demonstrates that in their poetic and multilayered constructions of cosmic chambers and dilapidated wine shops, the ghazals of Hafez put the voice of the Divine and that of the ordinary fellow in an elegant and meaningful conversation with far reaching echoes. Over the centuries, these conversations have excited as much literary/religious debate as they have fired up the imagination of a vast popular readership.

All are welcome.