- Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch
- Mevlana Museum
- Pisidian Antioch
- Engagement with the Text
- Other posts in this series:
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 0 Anticipation
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 1-2 Brisbane – Sydney – Abu Dhabi – Athens
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 3 Corinth and Athens
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 5 Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 6 Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 7 Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 8 Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 9 Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 10 Ephesus
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 11 Patmos
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 12 Smyrna, Thyateria, Pergamon
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 13 Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 14 Gallipoli
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 15 (and 16) Istanbul
- Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: In Review
Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch
Beforehand, I would have expected Mevlana Museum to be irrelevant, and Pisidian Antioch to be somewhat interesting. At the end of the day I had been somewhat disappointed by Pisidian Antioch, but was incredibly grateful for the visit to Mevlana Museum.
The “Whirling Dervishes” as far as I knew, were those little dusty whirlwinds that you see in the desert, and I didn’t recognise the name, “Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi”. I learned a lot this day!
The Dervishes were a religious order, effectively like monks. Their characteristic “whirl” is a trance-like dance in which they spin for about ten minutes and then suddenly stop, bow, and begin spinning again. Basically, that is impossible to do without falling over!
It’s a kind of meditation and spiritual discipline.
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, was, in fact, already known to me, but only as “Rumi”, the Sufi poet and mystic. I did not know that he had founded the order of the Dervishes, and the penny dropped as we started learning about his life and times. The Melvana Museum contains, among other things, a tomb of Rumi (also called Melvana). It was the Muslim equivalent of a monastry.
A friend of mine gave me a book of Rumi’s poetry a couple of years ago. I could see at the time that Rumi was essentially an Islamic poet, but I was struck by how much of it was agreeable in Christian terms. Rumi contemplates a range of spiritual questions in poetry, but none more so than the love of God.
It later became evident to me that the works of Rumi provide a bridge between myself and the Islamic world. I have committed to becoming increasingly familiar with Rumi’s writings so that I can say in the same way Paul did in Athens, “as even some of your own poets have said…” (Acts 17:28), and then quote Rumi!
I confess to being disappointed at first.
Primarily I was disappointed by the state of this archaeological site! There were important pieces just lying around, one with an inscription had been placed upside down, and it seemed that no care was being taken either to maintain or protect the site. The contrast to the sites we had seen in Greece was stark! The Greek sites were carefully fenced off, and guards often accompanied the tour group to ensure that the site was treated with respect.
The only readily recognisable feature of the site (for anyone who wasn’t there), from my photographs was the theatre.
Afterwards it became more apparent that the lack of attention was probably primarily due to a lack of financial means, rather than a lack of motivation. There were other sites which were better maintained, and they had foreign teams providing money. The same was true for the Greek sites, in that they were heavily funded by foreign money.
When I realised this, I overcame my misgivings. I had unfairly accused the Turks (privately) of disrespecting this site. It wasn’t a fair judgement.
Not the one pictured, but one underneath it, in an underground complex. This is central Turkey in the middle of winter… we had very mild weather, but it probably got down close to 0 degrees overnight.
The one pictured would be popular in the summer, which is peak tourist season.
Engagement with the Text
The text for the day was Acts 13, in which Paul travels from Syrian Antioch to Pisidian Antioch and begins preaching the Gospel there. It is a (effectively the first) major push into new territory for the Gospel.
Paul’s word is received in the synagogue reasonably well at first, but the next week when “almost the whole city” (v44) came to hear the message, the Jews were “filled with jealousy” (v45).
I strongly suspect that this jealousy had nothing to do with the size of the crowd, but was instead a “jealousy” which related to the inclusion of Gentiles in the audience and, as we subsequently find out, in the message as well! This was scandalous to the Jewish thinkers of the day, and very difficult for them to comprehend. This issue would dominate Paul’s whole ministry, resulting in many beatings and indignations, eventually landing him in chains before the Roman emperor!
Other posts in this series:
Expectations These are my thoughts as I pack for a Study Tour of Greece and Turkey with my Bible College: Intellectually My thinking process…
Brisbane - Sydney - Abu Dhabi - Athens Day 1 is mostly travel. In fact, it's hard to define what, precisely, is a "day" when you cross so many time…
Corinth and Athens We drove down the coast to Corinth in the morning, and returned to Athens after lunch to see the Parthenon and…
The Oracle of Delphi We headed out from Athens, and in a two hour trip we saw an amazing landscape change from cityscape, to countryside, to…
Athens - Istanbul - Cappadocia Just as we started to get used to Athens, we were off into the great unknown territory of Turkey. Unknown, that is,…
Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya For many in the group, the day began with a hot air balloon ride! They tell me it was amazing, and…
Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch Beforehand, I would have expected Mevlana Museum to be irrelevant, and Pisidian Antioch to be somewhat interesting.…
Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea Oh my goodness, what a day! Hierapolis Hierapolis is mentioned in the Bible only…
Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi Happy birthday to me! January 18th is my birthday, and someone on tour happened to ask, just a couple of…
Ephesus Just when you think you've got no more "wow", there's Ephesus... The whole site is like a visual feast. It reminded me of those…
Patmos We had an early start, so that we had time for the four hour boat ride to Patmos from Kusadasi... and four hours back again! We passed…
Smyrna (Izmir), Thyateria, Pergamon (Bergama) It's a big day when you visit three sites. On top of that, two out of these particular three were…
Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy Today we visited three sites, and all were impressive. It was another big day for all of us. He didn't let on, but I…
Gallipoli Without any hesitation I can state that this was the most moving and emotional day of the tour. Gallipoli is special. Here it…
Istanbul This is quite a town! It has twice the population of the largest city in Australia. The road rules seem to be taken as no more than a…