Shatha Almutawa

(History of Judaism) "The Use of Narrative in Rasa'il Ikhwan Al-Safa: Imagination at the Intersections of Religion, Philosophy and Science”

Whether it's a medieval animal fable or a contemporary dialogue, storytelling in the Arab world has played many roles. In the tenth century parables were used as a medium in which seemingly opposing worldviews were brought together, given new meanings and made to be viewed in fresh new ways. As a Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow, I will continue to examine the narratives scattered throughout Rasa'il Ikhwan Al-Safa, a neoplatonic text, for my dissertation. As I study these allegories and tales in the context of Iraq's history, I hope that the seminars will help me hone my theoretical framework so that my study will have wider applications, for example in the study of modern and contemporary texts that address religion and politics.