(Radical) Muhammad Ali (Funeral)


Listening to the funeral of Muhammad Ali on NPR. Demonstrating something about the power of liturgy, the spirit is personal, religious, and political. Is this a watershed event?  Personal memories about courage and compassion collide with histories –Jim Crow and lynching, the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Vietnam War Movement and the struggle today against racism, poverty, and war, religious bigotry and the fight for freedom and social justice in the age of Trump. This is a great American moment, a moment in which Islam enters into the cultural mainstream by way of a major media event of profound symbolic and political importance, introduced in terms of mercy, love, justice, and peace; introduced to the light-marked beauty of Islamic liturgical texts and chant coupled ecumenically with powerful words by Christian and Jewish faith leaders. You can find it here.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to (Radical) Muhammad Ali (Funeral)

  1. dmf says:

    When Cassius Clay converted from his Baptist Christian upbringing to join the Nation of Islam he told a press conference that “a rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.”
    What was the faith though the worlds famous and iconic sportsmen? How did Islam shape his sporting life, his activism and his politics? William Crawley explores the spiritual journey of Muhammed Ali from the Christian origins to his famous conversion to the politically charged Nation of Islam and then his eventual embrace of orthodox Sunni Islam. William will hear how his faith changed and in later life he started to follow the more mystical Sufi Islam.

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