University of Rochester

Homerin Awarded Fellowship for Research in Egypt

April 17, 2000

Emil Homerin, chair of the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester, has received a travel and study fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his work editing and translating an influential manuscript of Islamic mystical theology.

Homerin will spend four months at the American Research Center in Egypt and will also travel to Turkey to research a commentary by the 14th-century mystic and scholar al-Qaysri. The work examines the famous Wine Ode by Ibn al-Farid, a 13th-century Egyptian considered the most important Arab poet in the Islamic mystical tradition. Ibn al Farid's ideas on spiritual love are expressed in metaphors of wine and romantic love.

"Al-Qaysri's commentary is a very important work, still widely quoted today," said Homerin. "It shows how poetry was used to articulate and spread various religious ideas."

Comparing different handwritten versions of the 50-page manuscript, Homerin will edit and create the first typed edition of al-Qaysri's work. He will also translate the work into English. Next year, Homerin will also publish a book of translations, commentary, and analysis based on his decade-long research on Ibn al-Farid.

Homerin teaches classes in Islamic religion, culture, and history. He is the author of From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint: Ibn al-Farid, His Verse, and His Shrine, and has had his articles published in numerous journals and books.

Note to Editors: Homerin lives in Irondequoit.