Renewing Islam by Service

Renewing Islam by Service

PIM VALKENBERG
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 394
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt15zc8c7
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  • Book Info
    Renewing Islam by Service
    Book Description:

    Renewing Islam by Service offers a theological account of the contemporary Turkish faith-based service movement started by Fethullah Gülen, and placed against the backdrop of changes in modern Turkish society. The life and works of Gülen are analyzed against the background of developments in Turkish society, and of spiritual Islamic tendencies in the transition from the Ottoman empire to the secular republic. Pim Valkenberg includes stories of his personal experiences with supporters of this movement, in a number of dierent countries, and analyzes the spiritual practices and the faith-based service of this movement that is also compared to some important Christian religious movements.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2756-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
    Teşekkürler
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xi-xxii)

    Writing a book about Fethullah Gülen and the faith-based service movement that is inspired by him is part of my mission as a Catholic theologian. Being involved in dialogue with Muslims for some time, I have often noticed that Turkish Muslims who belong to this movement are bridge builders between cultures and religions. They represent an important development in the Muslim world that is usually overlooked in the public media. Therefore, even though I have never metHocaefendiFethullah Gülen himself, I am convinced that the movement that is associated with his name forms a very important contribution to the...

  5. 1 DIALOGUE-MINDED TURKISH MUSLIMS IN THE NETHERLANDS
    (pp. 1-32)

    It may be somewhat strange to start this book by focusing on Muslims in the Netherlands since the movement inspired by Fethullah Gülen obviously started in Turkey. Yet it makes sense to tell first about the encounters that motivated me, a Catholic theologian at that time working at a university in the Netherlands, to research the spiritual background of my partners in dialogue. Later in this book I will tell how my study of Fethullah Gülen and the movement he inspired was deepened by a number of contexts and encounters in the United States of America and in Turkey, but...

  6. 2 TURKEY BETWEEN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
    (pp. 33-66)

    This chapter aims to describe some of the most important social and political contexts that shed light on the life and works of Fethullah Gülen, whose works will be discussed in the next chapter. The rise of the network of faith-based service communities inspired by Gülen is not an isolated phenomenon, since it fits in a series of events that can be characterized as the renewal of public religious life and the rise of political Islam in Turkey.¹ During his extended residence as a journalist and scholar in Turkey, Rainer Hermann has observed the traces of what he calls a...

  7. 3 THE LIFE AND WORKS OF M. FETHULLAH GÜLEN
    (pp. 67-120)

    When one wants to write about Muhammad Fethullah Gülen in English, the first challenge one encounters is that no comprehensive critical study of his life and works has yet been written.¹ The situation may be somewhat different in Turkish—for instance, Ali Ünal’s portrait describes some of the basic intellectual dimensions of his person—but there is no internationally acclaimed biography that one could take as point of departure.² Editions of Gülen’s books usually contain short biographies but these are not based on independent critical research. The same holds true of the biographical materials in publications that introduce Gülen to...

  8. 4 THE QUR’ĀN, RŪMĪ, NURSI, AND THE RENEWAL OF ANATOLIAN ISLAM
    (pp. 121-152)

    Fethullah Gülen is quite explicit about the fact that his ideas about contemporary forms of Islam are derived from the sources of the Islamic tradition. In the previous chapter, I have already pointed out that these sources are used differently in the several strands of Gülen’s discourse. When Gülen tells about the family in which he grew up, he relates that his mother taught him the Qur’ān when he was four years old. Reading and reciting the Qur’ān was dangerous at that time, therefore much of the teaching had to be done during the night.¹ Gülen also describes how his...

  9. 5 THE FORMATION OF FAITH-BASED SERVICE NETWORKS
    (pp. 153-183)

    The focus in the second part of this book will switch from Fethullah Gülen to the movement that is associated with his name.¹ One may say that this movement has been the subject of a rapidly growing number of studies that are to a large extent the results of conferences organized by the so-called Gülen Movement itself. In the first part of the chapter, I will explain why I have serious reservations about the term “Gülen Movement.” These reservations are partly based on a significant number of sociological studies on the nature of this movement.² They are also based partly...

  10. 6 THREE ELEMENTS OF FAITH-BASED SERVICE
    (pp. 184-228)

    In chapter five I tried to explain a characteristic of the faith-based service movement inspired by Fethullah Gülen, or in short the Hizmet Movement, by describing the basis of the motivation for renewal of faith byhizmet,or service, that can be detected in Gülen’s writings. After reading a number of Gülen’s works and consulting a number of his first followers, I have come to the conclusion that this basic motivation isrıza-i İlahi, seeking God’s pleasure. This theological motivation is discussed and put into practice through a specific form of religious communication in the Hizmet Movement: thesohbet. This...

  11. 7 RELIGIOUS LIFE AND SERVICE IN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
    (pp. 229-256)

    In this final chapter I want to draw a comparison between some of the most important elements from my analysis of the Hizmet Movement and similar phenomena in Christian forms of religious life. I want to be explicit in this comparison since, as I wrote in the introduction, this makes clear why I stressed certain elements in the life and works of Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet Movement that he inspired. I did so because I saw parallels to some forms of religious life in my own religious tradition and that helped me to understand Fethullah Gülen and those he...

  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 257-274)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 275-288)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 289-289)