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Toward an Islamic EnlightenmentThe Gülen Movement$
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M. Hakan Yavuz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199927999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199927999.001.0001

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The Contextual Theology of Gülen

The Contextual Theology of Gülen

Islamic Enlightenment

(p.47) 2 The Contextual Theology of Gülen
Toward an Islamic Enlightenment

M. Hakan Yavuz

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents Gülen's system of ideas as a “contextual theology” by examining the dialectical relationship between the interpretations of the Qur'an and socioeconomic and political transformations. By comparing Gülen's theology with Paul Tillich's, the chapter shows how sociopolitical conditions inform Gülen's exegesis of critical Islamic dogmas and practices. Gülen's ideas are framed as an attempt at an Islamic reformation and enlightenment, since he stresses the centrality of reason, tolerance, and the public sphere in striving for the ideal society and understanding of faith. Gülen develops his own understanding of democracy, secularism, modernity, memory, and politics on the basis of his own further development of the thought and teaching of Said Nursi.

Keywords:   Contextual theology, Paul Tillich, religious enlightenment, reason vs. revelation, crisis of morality, community, the good life, memory, identity, social conservatism, modernity, democracy

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