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Preventing Violence and Achieving World Peace

The Contributions of the Gülen Movement

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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 2: Dialogic Humanism: Gülen’s Alternative to Dialectical Thinking Heon Kim 23

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• C H A P T E R T W O • Dialogic Humanism: Gülen’s Alternative to Dialectical Thinking Heon Kim his study presents humanism in the thought of Fethullah Gülen, addressing the contemporary context of globalism and globalization that condition both plurality of and clashes among religions, cultures and civilizations. Gülen is one of themost significant theologians in contemporary Islam, and the Gülen movement under his leadership has become one of the fastest expanding Islamic movements around the globe.1 A recent survey, The 500 Most Influential Muslims, counts Gülen as one of the top 50 influential Muslims who “affect huge swathes of humanity.” It particularly notes that Gülen “has gone on to become a global phenomenon in his own right.”2 Since a decade ago, social scientists of the world have produced quite a number of studies on Gülen and the Gülen Movement. Having attempted to figure out the reasons behind the appeal of Gülen’s thought and the success of the Movement, the majority of the studies put forward tolerance, dialogue, and education as the primary factors of the Gülen phenomenon. Today, Gülen and the Movement are most frequently studied in the fields of inter-religious, inter-cultural and inter-civilizational dialogue, especially in the aftermath of the tragic 9/11 experience. Throughout his over forty books and numerous sermons and interviews, Gülen has strongly advocated dialogue. And, following his guidance, the Gülen Movement has centered its global activities on dialogue by...

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