Sunday, April 22, 2012

An analysis of the literature on Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement

(Video Duration: 1 min. 6 secs.)

Dr. Jeremy Walton
Jeremy Walton, Ph.D.
Modern Social Paradigms and the Hizmet Movement was the topic of the sixth panel at the “International Conference on the Gulen Movement: Paradigms, Projects, Aspirations” held at the International House of University of Chicago in 2010.

In the panel, Dr. Jeremy Walton of the New York University presented his paper titled Toward a Comprehensive Interpretation of Piety and Civility: Theological, Ethical, Institutional and Aesthetic Dimensions of the Hizmet Movement. Below are some excerpts from Dr. Walton’s presentation:

In my mind, rather unique characteristic of the Gulen Movement that demands more thorough analysis and attention: On the whole, the emerging literature both on the works of Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement, which we should note, spans academic and non-academic divide, can be divided into two broad categories.

On the one hand, we might list the works that focus broadly on theological bases and ethical aspirations of Gulen’s aura and Gulen Movement. Works in this set, including much of Gulen’s own writing, tend to emphasize questions of inter-religious dialogue, Gulen’s relationship to concepts in Islamic theology such as Sufism and other broadly theological and ethical questions.

On the other hand, the second category of the literature pays specific attention to the sociological formations and political implications of the Gulen Movement, I’m thinking here much of Hakan Yavuz’s work on Islam and the state. And undoubtedly, these two sets of literature on Gulen and Hizmet Movement have made crucial contributions to a more thorough understanding of contemporary Islam both in Turkey and globally.