The romantic lyricism of the great Persian poet Hafiz (1315-1390) continues to be admired around the world. Recent exploration of that lyricism by Iranian scholars has revealed that, in addition to his masterful use of poetic devices, Hafiz's verse is deeply steeped in the philosophy and symbolism of Persian love mysticism. This innovative volume discusses the aesthetic theories and mystical philosophy of the classical Persian love-lyric (ghazal) as particularly exemplified by Hafiz (who, along with Rumi and Sa'di, is Persia's most celebrated poet). For the first time in western literature, Hafiz's rhetoric of romance is situated within the broader context of what scholars refer to as ""Love Theory"" in Arabic and Persian poetry in particular and Islamic literature more generally. Contributors from both the West and Iran conduct a major investigation of the love lyrics of Hafiz and of what they signified to that high culture and civilization which was devoted to the School of Love in medieval Persia. The volume will have strong appeal to scholars of the Middle East, medieval Islamic literature, and the history and culture of Iran.
Leonard Lewisohn is Lecturer in Persian and Sufi Literature at Exeter University. His previous books include "The Art of Spiritual Flight: Farid al-Din 'Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition" (I.B.Tauris, 2006, edited with Christopher Shackle) and "The Heritage of Sufism, vols 1-3" (1999).
‘This volume is an utter delight to read. Edited with excellent intellectual rigour by Leonard Lewisohn, the essays written by a number of distinguished Iranian scholars and other specialists in Persian studies provide a literary, historical and philosophical overview and analysis of the leitmotif of Hafiz’s poetry, which is love.’
Bahā al-Dīn Khurramshāhī, author of Hāfiz-nāma, a two-volume Persian commentary on Hafiz’s poetry
‘Leonard Lewisohn brings together perhaps for the first time in Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry a rich and diverse set of essays in a single volume written by renowned specialists on Hafiz. Few people have his lifelong devotion to Hafiz and profound knowledge of classical Persian poetry to be capable of producing such a work, which is indispensable to students and scholars of Hafiz and Persian literature.’
Mehdi Aminrazavi, Professor of Philosophy & Religion, University of Mary Washington, Virginia
‘With contributions by a number of prominent scholars, Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry provides a highly focused, original, and engaging edited volume on one of the most cherished Persian poets and some of the most stimulating topics of classical Persian poetry.’
Kamran Talattof, Professor of Persian Language and Literature, University of Arizona
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.Paperback
Publication Date: 29 Mar 2015
Number of Pages: 360