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episode 41: Emily Jane O'Dell, "The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master" (St. Martin's Essentials, 2022)

The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master (St. Martin’s Press, 2022), written by Dr. Emily Jane O’Dell was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2022. In this rich and insightful book, Dr. O’Dell takes us through her own spiritual and physical travels, as well as gives us historical and Islamic mystic context to help us understand and cherish the words of Rumi on a deeper level.

As one of the world's most loved poets, Rumi's poems are celebrated for their message of love and their beauty, but too often they are stripped of their mystical and spiritual meanings. The Gift of Rumi offers a new reading of Rumi, contextualizing his work against the broader backdrop of Islamic mysticism and adding a richness and authenticity that is lacking in many Westernized conceptions of his work. Author Emily Jane O'Dell has studied Sufism both academically, in her work and research at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University of Beirut, and in practice, learning from a Mevlevi master and his whirling dervishes in Istanbul. She weaves this expertise throughout The Gift of Rumi, sharing a new vision of Rumi’s classic work.

At the heart of Rumi’s mystical poetry is the “religion of love” which transcends all religions. Through his majestic verses of ecstasy and longing, Rumi invites us into the religion of the heart and guides us to our own loving inner essence. The Gift of Rumi gives us a key to experiencing this profound and powerful invitation, allowing readers to meet the master in a new way.

Meg Gambino is an artist and activist currently working as the Client and Community Relations Manager at a local nonprofit focused on ending hunger in North Penn. Her life mission is to creatively empower others by modeling reconciliation between communities of people and people on the margins. Find her on Instagram @megambino.

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 2022-10-05  38m