Conference: A Boundless Ocean, Rūmī’s Philosophy and Reception
Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam
In honour of the 750th anniversary of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī’s death (1207-1273), Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam organises the conference A Boundless Ocean: Rūmī’s Philosophy and Reception. The conference brings together scholars who have worked or are working on various aspects of Rūmī as a mystic, a religious scholar, and a poet.
Rūmī was, and is, one of the mostly read authors in the Islamic world, and a best-selling poet in the United States, praised for his aesthetics, his wisdom, practical advice, and passionate love.
Why is Rūmī so appealing to people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds? What is his timeless message that attracts both Muslims and non-Muslims alike? Is his modern appreciation merely to do with his non-conformist and transgressive ideas? How are his transgressive ideas used as a counter to the violent ideas of Islamist ideology, emphasizing a different Islam?
Rūmī composed an impressive amount of works, his poetry consists of about 120.000 lines. His magnum opus, the Spiritual Poem (Masnavī-yi ma‘navī) is called the Koran in the Persian language as he comments on the Koran in an attractive fashion, adorning his message with metaphors and illustrative anecdotes. His opening lines about the complaint of a reed cut from the reedbed is a metaphor for the separated human soul, longing to return to the original home.