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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 8: Fethullah Gülen’s Care for All Creation as a Means to Nonviolence Eileen Eppig 137

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• C H A P T E R E I G H T • Fethullah Gülen’s Care for All Creation as a Means to Nonviolence Eileen Eppig eople the world over are coming to know the Muslim scholar M. Fethullah Gülen for his peace initiatives in Turkish schools, hospitals, and news media. What is not as well known, but comes through clearly in his writings, as well as his peaceful lifestyle, is Gülen’s profound love and respect for all of creation—human and non-human. Gülen is a deeply spiritual Sunni Muslim who has been strongly influenced by the Naqshbandi Sufi tradition;1 the writings of Said Nursi;2 and Turkish Islam which is said to be tolerant and inclusive, based on a foundation of love.3 Gülen’s passionate love for the universe stems from his deep living of the spiritual dimension of Islam, which leads him into the deeper meaning of things, including the universe. Thus, Gülen sees the created world through a spiritual lens. In this essay, I will present (1) Fethullah Gülen’s view of and approach to creation and the universe; (2) the connection he sees between the Qur’an and the cosmos; (3) his views on peace and harmony in relation to creation; and (4) some concluding remarks about creation, peace and nonviolence in our world today. For Gülen, the universe is primarily an invitation to humanity to come to know God through the contemplation of nature. Gülen compares everything in the...

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