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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 6: Divine Collusion Terry Mathis 89

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• C H A P T E R S I X • Divine Collusion Terry Mathis he religious traditions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all depend upon scriptural revelation from God. Each Abrahamic tradition is shaped by this dependency, and the underlying thesis here is that they are shaped at best when these traditions are peacefully and supportively engaged with each other. These three traditions will limit the scope of the discussion. The conflicting truth-claims of these different theistic traditions and the legalistic sectarian stance of many religious leaders notwithstanding, the position taken here is that the various scriptures of these traditions provide broad support for interfaith dialogue. The sacred scriptures of these traditions, in their full contexts, all support thoughtful caring contact among the adherents of these Abrahamic traditions. This view is driven by a number of common underlying themes in each of the traditions, one of the most prominent being the teaching and admonition to love one another. A provocative contemporary Muslim theologian, M. Fethullah Gülen exemplifies this teaching on love, and his work in the area of interfaith dialogue will set the tone for this study of the scriptures of the three traditions. Gülen’s impressive accomplishments most significantly include his contributions to interfaith and intercultural dialogue. At a time in history when we experience the “clash of civilizations,” he is proposing instead a dialogue of civilizations in which all humankind shares in a mutually enriching deeper understanding of the will of God. A visionary for global peace,...

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