Transnational Religious Nationalism in the New Turkey: The Case of Fethullah Gulen

Joshua D. Hendrick, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of international studies at the University of Oregon, addresses the conflict between Turkey"s secular and Islamic forces by explaining the organizational impact of the education and business community known as the Gülen Movement. The followers of Fethullah Gülen, one of Turkey's most famous and controversial religious personalities, attract a great deal of international attention because of the extent of their education network, which now spans over 100 countries and includes approximately 100 charter schools in the United States. "Gülen schools" receive international praise because of the high academic success rates of their students and the moderate brand of Islam exemplified by their Turkish schoolteachers and administrators. Hendrick's extensive ethnographic fieldwork and research seeks to explain the movement's emergence as Turkey's most influential nonpartisan, nonmilitary social force. His work also examines the ways in which its participants aim to aid in the reform of Turkey's power structure in line with the interests of a new 21st century conservative Muslim elite.

Y. Alp Aslandogan, Ph.D., is the president of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog. The group was founded by participants in the Gülen Movement in Texas to foster direct interaction among members of various faiths by means of interfaith dinners, public lectures, sponsored trips to Turkey and academic conferences. As one of the Gülen Movement"s leading intellectuals, Aslandogan will offer a response to Hendrick's analysis.

For more information on the Gülen Movement, see William Martin's "Head of the Class" and "Lesson Learned" (Texas Monthly, August 2010).

Speaker William Martin
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political ...

William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political implications of religion, particularly fundamentalist religions and the importance of the separation of religion and government, or “church and state”; and 2) ways to reduce the harms associated with both drug abuse and drug policy. His articles, most of which deal with aspects of religion, have appeared in such publications as Texas Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His book “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story” is regarded as the authoritative biography of Billy Graham. An updated edition of his 1996 book “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America,” the companion volume to a six-hour documentary PBS miniseries of the same name, was reissued in June 2005 by Broadway Books. He is a frequent guest on national and local news and discussion programs. During his 44 years at Rice, Martin has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. Martin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.



William Martin

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Thu, Dec. 9, 2010
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
(GMT-0600) America/Chicago

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