Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mevlana Jelal ed-Din Rumi, Yunus Emre, And The Turkish Minstrel Tale Tradition Of Ercisli Emrah And His Beloved Selvihan

"Mevlana Jelal ed-Din Rumi (1207-1273) was one of the great spiritual masters and poets of the Middle Ages and founder of the Mevlevi order of Sufism, a Muslim school of thought grounded in love and tolerance. This mystical order’s whirling dervishes are renowned throughout the world today.

Over the course of eight centuries, Turkish culture has been infused by the spiritual message first articulated by Rumi in Konya, capital of the Seljuk Turkish dynasty of Anatolia. The popular embrace of Rumi’s themes of love and tolerance was made possible by Yunus Emre, another Anatolian Sufi poet of that era who recited Rumi’s teachings in vernacular Turkish.

Reflections of the spiritual message of these two poets can be seen in the Turkish minstrel tale tradition today. Professor Atis will reveal this in the story of Ercisli Emrah and his beloved Selvihan, a tale from the Turkish oral tradition that resonates with themes and values stretching back to Rumi and Yunus. The story’s Sufi metaphysics of love and poetic imagery display an artistic continuum that first appeared in Seljuk and Ottoman courtly traditions.

Next year, UNESCO and other organizations will commemorate the 800th anniversary of Rumi’s birth with celebrations throughout the world.

Sarah G. Moment Atis is Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught and written extensively on Turkish literature, and is a founding member of the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages."


The Embassy of Turkey and the American Friends of Turkey

“Reflections of Rumi in the Turkish Minstrel Tale Tradition”

December 7th at 6:30 pm

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., United States

By RSVP only.

Mevlana Jelal ed-Din Rumi (1207-1273) whose 800th Anniversary will be commemorated by UNESCO and other international organizations in 2007.

Yunus Emre and Humanism

Image credit: With thanks.


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