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Niloofar Haeri, On Women, Prayer & Poetry In Iran

Stanford University Press

Now, a conversation with Dr. Niloofar Haeri, a linguist and a professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University and the author of several books on language and culture.  Her latest is a fascinating study of the prayer practices of women in the Islamic state of Iran, and the inextricable relationship between prayer and poetry in Iranian culture.  The book, Say What Your Longing Heart Desires: Women, Prayer and Poetry in Iranraises profound questions about what it means to be religious and how religiosity affects and informs society at large...

Credit Niloofar Haeri
Niloofar Haeri is a linguist and professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

With so many of our impressions of Muslim culture framed around terrorism and caricatures of Islamic rituals, this book examines a central tenet of Iranian culture in revelatory ways and asks important questions that could be posed to believers in any religious tradition: What is the difference between ritual prayer, prescribed in the tradition, and improvised prayer in which the supplicant prays in her own way, in the context of her own experience?  Can prayers go well, or go badly?  What does it mean to pray with, or without, “presence of heart?”

Professor Niloofar Haeri joins Tom on Zoom…


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