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Title: a Sa'di's Rose garden : a paean to reconciliation ; an exploration of socio-political relations, human interactions, integration, peace and harmony
Authors: Ahmadian, Cherkawani, Mohamad
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The core purpose of this PhD has been to investigate the reconciliatory thought of a 13th century Persian poet named Sa’di Shirazi. Although Sa’di’s prose poetry is not set out in the systematic form of a comprehensive political theory, profound insights were extracted from it that convey a powerful message regarding the necessities of harmonious behaviour as a precondition for a healthy society, and the dangers of not adhering to it. The Rose Garden of Sa’di, his most prized work and a pillar of Persian literature which is one of the oldest in the world, was the focus of this thesis. I revealed that deep within the Rose Garden, there exists a concept of human integration or reconciliation leading towards an ideal state that Sa’di envisions and the name of the book denotes. This concept lies at the heart of his concern for human well-being and prosperity. The thesis is developed in five stages: first, I describe Sa’di’s personality and life experiences; second, I show how recently there has been an aesthetic turn and a local turn in our understanding of present-day politics and peace, demonstrating how poetry, especially indigenous poetry, can have a significant impact on political behaviour and understanding; third, I deal with the historiographical issue of transposing ideas from the past into political situations of the present, arguing that such transposition is not only legitimate but ineluctable; fourth, I provide a rigorous analysis of the reconciliatory notions in Sa’di’s masterpiece, the Rose Garden; and fifth, I propose that Sa’di’s concept of reconciliation can potentially help mitigate the profound clash in 21st century Iran between its national and religious identities, since poetry is an important and integral part of the cultural conscience of Iranians and a vehicle to mobilise, invigorate and convey socio-political ideas. Particularly, the eminent role which Sa'di has played in the past and present Iranian consciousness and expressions of Iranian character makes him a suitable candidate for this potential role.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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