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Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace

The Contributions of the Gülen Movement


Edited By Ori Z. Soltes and Margaret A. Johnson

How can we address the seemingly endless conflicts in the world, particularly those arising from misunderstandings of Islam by both Muslims and non-Muslims? Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace: The Contributions of the Gülen Movement presents the essays of eight scholars who consider the diverse ways in which the Gülen Movement or hizmet («service to others») – inspired by contemporary Turkish social philosopher Fetullah Gülen – has worked to answer this question. Drawing from various intellectual and theological sources, particularly Sufism, these essays indicate multiple instances of positive interfaith and/or multicultural dialogue. In addition, they consider how the writings of Gülen and the works of the Gülen Movement, through an extensive program of education and communication, have contributed significantly to efforts that oppose violence and shape universal peace.


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Chapter 1: Socrates, Violence, Education, the Gülen Movement and Peace Ori Z. Soltes 7


• C H A P T E R O N E • Socrates, Violence, Education, the Gülen Movement and Peace Ori Z. Soltes Socrates, Definition, Ethics and Dialogue ocrates’ mode of thought was defined by at least three key issues. The first was definition. He was constantly wrestling with his interlocutors for their failure to define the terms they were using, thereby leaving them open for a host of errors in both thought and action.1 Thus Socrates would ask us to define “violence” and part of his procedure for getting at that definition would be to ask whether there are different kinds of violence.2 He would no doubt distinguish between violence that occurs in nature—such as the violence of a tsunami or a flood or a volcanic eruption— and that which is human-made. The latter is part of war and every battle within a war, as it is part of smaller-scaled murder. He (and we) might further distinguish public violence—in international, domestic (in the sense of national) or communal contexts (each of these distinguished from each other as subsets of public violence)—from private violence: that is, violence within the context of and against one’s family. Still further, he might distinguish acts of violence that involve a group of people, however large that group, from acts that involve only one person acting against another. In this last case, he might further distinguish violence that leads to the death of the victim from violence that leads to short- or long-term...

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