Rumi’s Wedding Night: An Evening of Music, Discussion and Healing Between Christian, Muslim and Jew, Dec. 17

John MacEnulty,

Native American Flute, in Concert

A celebration of the poetry of the most popular and beloved 

poet in America today, a 13th century Muslim poet – Rumi.

Friday evening, December 17th

6:15 panel discussion

With Fatima Kashavarz, Imam Muhammed Hasic, Howard Schwartz,

& John Renard

7:30 Concert, Rumi’s Wedding Night

John MacEnulty, Native American flute

8:30 open dialogue with audience

at the Ethical Society

9001 Clayton Rd.  St. Louis MO

Admission is free.  A love offering will be gratefully accepted.

For more information or if you’d like to volunteer to help with this concert please call  314-395-9962

This performance is for healing the growing cultural rift between certain elements of this country and the Muslim religion. The estrangement is still in its early stages. We can be a part of heading it off. Please come and bring your friends of all political persuasions.

The basic idea of this night is that Rumi is the most popular poet in the United States today. We are in tune with the values and sense of love and beauty expressed by this great poet. He just happens to be the greatest Muslim poet of all time. And so without realizing it, we join cultures through the poetry of Rumi.

We need to see the commonality of our values as expressed through the poetry of Rumi. By pointing out the shared sense of love and caring we demonstrate that we share deeply with our Muslim brothers and sisters. This will be done by selected readings and musical interpretations of the poetry on the Native American flute.

We learn to respect the ways of others, that even the greatest of prophets needs humility. We learn that the highest levels of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are deeply rooted in the inexpressible mystery of the divine. We share the mystery in deep and beautiful ways that need to become a part of our cultural and political dialogue. May we begin to find our deeper connections through the poetry of Rumi.

There will be dialogue before and after this performance to see if we can find our true relationships. If you have ideas or opinions about Muslim, Christian, Jewish relationships please come and express your views, regardless of what they are that we may begin to share a deeper understanding of who we are to each other, Muslim, Christian, Jew.

John MacEnulty was the principal tuba player with the St. Louis Symphony from 1962 until 1982 when his playing career was ended by Bell’s palsy, a paralysis of the facial muscles. He was conductor and executive director of the Belleville Philharmonic from 1983 until 1991 when this career was interrupted by cancer (lymphoma). After a near death experience and a major shift of life values John began a period of spiritual seeking, writing and meditating, culminating in the discovery of the Native American Flute an instrument which he describes as “much more than musical.”

Fatemeh Keshavarz is professor of Persian and comparative literature and chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis. Her book “Jasmine and Stars, Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran” is a direct, frank, and intimate exploration of Iranian literature and society. Scholar, teacher, and poet, her fresh perspective on present day Iran provides a rare insight into this rich culture alive with artistic expression but virtually unknown to most Americans. She is also author of four previous books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal Al-Din Rumi.

Muhamed Hasic is Imam of the St. Louis’ Islamic Community Center a largely Bosnian Muslim group. The Bosnians immigrated to the United States in the mid 1990s during the war, fleeing almost unimaginable suffering in their country and seeking solace in a new land. St. Louis has between 50,000 and 70,000 Bosnians, a substantial population. The Bosnians moved into old neighborhoods and opened businesses. They are widely credited by many in St. Louis with vastly improving areas of the city.

Howard Schwartz, professor of English at University of Missouri St. Louis, is a three time winner of the National Jewish Book Award. He is a nationally reknown writer of Jewish fiction, essays, and children’s stories, as well as editing numerous publications. He has received awards and recognitions too numerous to  list here. Suffice it to say that he is a nationally recognized authority on Jewish culture and its relationship to the world community.

John Renard is a Professor of Theological Studies at St. Louis University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University with focus on religious literature in Arabic and Persian, Islamic art history, and religion. He has written extensively on Islamic culture, including “All the King’s Falcons: Rumi on Prophets and Revelation”