Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi

American Public Media

Since its premiere in July 2003, Speaking of Faith has regularly included Islam in its thoughtful, sometimes provocative considerations of religion, ethics, meaning and ideas. The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi is an especially rich inquiry that mingles music, poetry readings and host Krista Tippett’s interview with an Iranian-American poet and scholar, Fatemeh Keshavarz. Together these elements illuminate the life, work and legacy of the 13th Century Islamic mystic, madrassa teacher and poet known to westerners as Rumi. Dervishes still whirl to his lyrical poetry, which is enjoying a popular revival around the world. Apart from the pure aural pleasure of hearing Keshavarz read poems by Rumi in which eroticism and spirituality are often interchangeable, the program makes an important political statement. It reveals a venerable Islamic world view—adventurous, cosmopolitan and open-minded—that stands in sharp contrast to fundamentalist rigidity and anger. For expanding our understanding of ancient and contemporary Islamic religiosity, a Peabody Award goes to Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi.


Executive producers: Krista Tippett (Host), Kate Moos (Managing Producer). Senior producer: Mitch Hanley. Producer: Colleen Scheck. Associate Producers: Shiraz Janjua, Jody Abramson. Web designer: Trent Gilliss (Online editor).