Art And Culture

Reexploring Sa’di, Confucius in Tehran

Reexploring Sa’di, Confucius in TehranReexploring Sa’di, Confucius in Tehran

A two-day conference on the Persian poet Sa’di (1213-1291 AD) and Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC) will be held at the Cultural Center of the Book City Institute in Tehran in the presence of experts on the two great figures.

The event slated for April 18-19, is organized by the Book City Institute, the Center for Sa’di Studies, Cultural Center of Iran in China, Peking University and Khebi University of China, IBNA reported.

Prominent Iranian figures including the veteran translator Fathollah Mojtabai, 89, philosopher Reza Davari-Ardakani, 83, poet and philosopher Zia Movahed, 73, researcher and linguist Kourosh Kamali-Sarvestani,55, author and translator Mohammad Dehqani, 52, and author and mythologist Abolqassem Esmailpour, 62 will speak at the event.

In their papers, the speakers will compare ‘Confucius Conversations’ with Sa`di’s ‘Gulistan’, and their approach towards the dual issue of politics and ethics.

Chinese experts will discuss the significance of the ideas of Sa`di and Confucius, the phenomenon of cross cultural development between China and Iran, and compare the thoughts of the two figures.

Iran and China are two ancient Asian nations with a rich and long history and civilization dating back to more than 2000 years.

Sa’di is a symbol of Persian language while Confucius is a symbol of Chinese. Their works show the similarity between their views with regard to human society based on the shared feeling of love for human beings.

 Ethics and Politics

The Persian poet is renowned for his ‘Gulistan’ and ‘Bustan’ and some chapters of the book are on ethics and politics. Sa’di’s works particularly ‘Gulistan’ have been rendered into Chinese several times.

The ‘Bustan’ is entirely in verse and consists of stories aptly illustrating the standard virtues recommended to Muslims (justice, liberality, modesty, contentment). ‘Gulistan’ is mainly in prose and contains stories and personal anecdotes. The text is interspersed with a variety of short poems, containing aphorisms, advice, and humorous reflections.

Confucius was an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure known for his popular aphorisms and for his models of social interaction.His teachings, preserved in ‘Analects’, focused on creating ethical models of family and public interaction, and setting educational standards.

Cooperating with Sa’di Studies Center, the Book City Institute has started a 10-year program since 2012, through which Persian classic literature and Sa’di’s works are introduced to the world. Moreover, the works of scholars and poets of other countries are presented and a comparative study of their works and thoughts with Sa’di are made.

So far, conferences to compare Sa’di’s works with those of the Russian poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), Turkish poet Yunus Emre (1240-1320), Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)and the Arab poet Mutanabbi (915-965) have been held in the past four years in Tehran, Moscow, Ankara and Madrid.

Beijing will host the session two months later.