Synopses & Reviews
M. Hakan Yavuz offers an insightful and wide-ranging study of the Gulen Movement, one of the most imaginative developments in contemporary Islam. Founded in Turkey by the Muslim thinker Fethullah Gulen, the Gulen Movement aims to disseminate a moderate interpretation of Islam through faith-based education. Its activities have fundamentally altered religious and political discourse in Turkey in recent decades, and its schools and other institutions have been established throughout Central Asia and the Balkans, as well as western Europe and North America. Consequently, its goals and modus operandi have come under increasing scrutiny around the world.
Yavuz introduces readers to the movement, its leader, its philosophies, and its practical applications. After recounting Gulen's personal history, he analyzes Gulen's theological outlook, the structure of the movement, its educational premise and promise, its financial structure, and its contributions (particularly to debates in the Turkish public sphere), its scientific outlook, and its role in interfaith dialogue. Towards an Islamic Enlightenment shows the many facets of the movement, arguing that it is marked by an identity paradox: despite its tremendous contribution to the introduction of a moderate, peaceful, and modern Islamic outlook-so different from the Iranian or Saudi forms of radical and political Islam-the Gulen Movement is at once liberal and communitarian, provoking both hope and fear in its works and influence.
"Provides a helpful general introduction for newcomers to the field and contributes some original fieldwork data that will be of interest to specialists." --American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
"This is a comprehensive and brilliant analysis of one of the most influential and controversial Turkish thinkers and activists of the contemporary world-Fethullah Gülen. M. Hakan Yavuz lays bare the wellsprings of the Gülen movement and probes with unusual clarity and evenhandedness the reasons for its remarkable success. Highly recommended for those who wish to take the pulse of Turkish Islam and its global ramifications."--Asma Afsaruddin, Chair and Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University Bloomington
"Richly nuanced... a well-written, first-rate analysis that will lead one to empathize with its subject, appreciate its strengths." --Middle East Journal
"This is an insightful scholarly narrative and authoritative analysis of the pragmatic evolution of an Islamic enlightenment project. The Gülen Movement remains a contingent and contested work-in-progress, yet it has already realized some of its modernizing potential through an Islamic contextual theology of deep concern with the dialectic of the eternal message of Islam and the human condition."--Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, author of Islam and the Secular State
"A deeply sympathetic yet critical interpretation of Fethullah Gülen and his increasingly influential and controversial Turkish Muslim movement. Yavuz offers a contextually rich, nuanced, and balanced account of the ongoing aggiornamento of the pietist Muslim movement to secular modernity."--Jose Casanova, Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University
"This well-timed book not only provides an update on the growth of the [Gulen] movement over the last decade; it also offers the deepest view yet of its roots... In terms of its scope and analysis, the book is of a high caliber and fills an important gap." --Middle East Policy
About the Author
M. Hakan Yavuz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Lives in Context
Chapter 2. The Contextual Theology of Gülen: Islamic Enlightenment
Chapter 3. The Structure of the Movement: Authority, Networks, and Communal Spaces
Chapter 4. Education and the Golden Generation
Chapter 5. Islamic Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism
Meaning and Ideas
Chapter 6. Islam in the Public Sphere
Chapter 7. Secularism and Science
Chapter 8. Interfaith Dialogue
Chapter 9. The Military and the JDP
Chapter 10. The Critics of the Movement