Three Christological Themes in Persian Literature

Document Type : Research Papers


University of Qom


One prominent aspect in Persian literature that distinguishes it from the literatures of other nations is the inclusive religious tone of this literature, especially from the tenth century (C.E.) onward. Divine messages heard from the tongues of the prophets of the Abrahamic religions are featured in Persian poetry. The poets and writers of Persian literature have given a prominent place to a number of themes from the life and message of Jesus Christ (‘a). In this paper after giving some information about how Persian language started to bloom, and become a language of science and literature, the status of Jesus in Persian literature, which has its base in the Qur’an and in Islamic narrations, is discussed. Later on, a brief sketch of the development of Sufi literature is reviewed in order to indicate the manner in which references to Jesus (‘a) function with particular attention to the works of ‘Attar, Rumi, Sadi and Hafiz. This paper focuses on three major themes related to Jesus (‘a) that are of major significance in Persian literature: his breath, his donkey, and Dajjāl (the Antichrist). We show how these themes are employed to develop an Islamic Christology in keeping with the spirituality and the moral and mystical teachings of the mystical traditions in Islam.


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