• Reading ʿAttar’s Elahinama as Sufi Practical Ethics: Between Genre, Reception, and Muslim and Christian Audiences

    Author(s):
    Ghazzal Dabiri (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Sufism, Literary reception, Medieval Islam, Medieval literature, Literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Sufi, Medieval narrative
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6X63B522
    Abstract:
    This paper seeks to contribute to the field of reception and audience studies by analyzing ʿAttar’s Elahinama. Little studied, the Elahinama offers an opportunity to understand better ʿAttar’s attitudes towards socio-religious issues, as well as the types of audiences that the text seeks, how it addresses them, and what possible aims it has. The paper argues that the Elahinama mobilizes the formal characteristics of practical ethics and mirrors while disrupting them at the level of meaning towards its own aims, namely, a just society grounded in the tenets of Sufism, for a broad, non-specialized audience, which also includes Christians and Muslims. The paper analyzes and dis- cusses not only the structure of the overall text, but also the first story, the “Tale of the Virtuous Woman,” which sets the tone. This story is an interesting case since it resembles the way that lives of female Byzantine Christian saints are constructed. It thus offers an opportunity to comment on the itinerant nature of narratives across Eurasia and more specifically the types of tales circulating in medieval eastern Iran.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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