Renewing Islam by Service: A Christian View of Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement


Date posted: October 30, 2015

A new book, Renewing Islam by Service, by Dr. Pim Valkenberg has been published by Catholic University Press, which offers a theological account of the contemporary Turkish faith-based service movement started by Fethullah Gülen, and placed against the backdrop of changes in modern Turkish society. In the first two chapters, Pim Valkenberg includes stories of his personal experiences with supporters of this movement, in a number of different countries, when he focuses on the dialogue-minded Turkish Muslims in the Netherlands. Then he analyzes Turkey between the Ottoman Empire and the European Union and the life and works of Gulen against the background of developments in Turkish society, and of spiritual Islamic tendencies in the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the secular republic. He also analyzes the spiritual practices when he mentions the Qur`an, Rumi, Nursi and the renewal of the Anatolian Islam. In the following chapters, he focuses on the formation and different elements of faith-based service networks. He finalizes his book with a comparative study of some important Christian religious movements and Islam in light of life and service.

Gulen and the Hizmet Movement began to take initiatives in order to overcome ignorance, disunity and poverty. At the beginning of the 21­st century the Hizmet Movement formed one of the most influential networks of Muslims, not only in Turkey but in Europe and the United States as well. While the HizmetMovement has thus far mainly been studied from a social scientific perspective, this book claims that Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement can best beunderstood by researching the religious drive that empowers them. Since this book has been written by a Christian theologian, this is done in a comparative theological approach that not only shows how Gulen and the Hizmet Movement renew Islam by service, but also how Christians can be inspired by such a religious renewal movement.

Pim Valkenberg is a professor of religion and culture at the Catholic University of America. He previously worked for the Diocese of Breda as a specialist on adult education, and for the Netherlands School of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion as research fellow. He was an assistant and associate professor of dogmatic theology and the theology of religions at the Catholic University of Nijmegen (1987-2007), where he studied Arabic and Islam as well. He contributed to the establishment of a new Department of Religious Studies in 1991 with a focus on interreligious dialogue, and as associate dean of education between 1999 and 2004 he was responsible for the development of new programs of intercultural theology and pastoral studies. Between 2006 and 2011 he was a visiting professor and an associate professor of theology at Loyola University Maryland with a focus on Christian-Muslim relations.

 

Source: Fethullah Gulen


Related News

Portrait of the Gülen Brotherhood, sworn enemy of Turkey’s President Erdogan

Some are answered by a confidential document produced by the European Union Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN). Nevertheless, its authors feel that the Gülen movement is not behind the coup attempt. There is no evidence that the army (…) and the Gülenists (…) had had any intention to cooperate in overthrowing Erdogan, they say.

US says it does not consider Gülen movement a terror organization

The U.S. has stated that the country does not consider the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen a terror organization, a position which stands in contrast with the latest decision taken during a Turkish National Security Council (MGK) meeting on the movement.

PKK’s venomous mouthpiece targets US, Gülen

ABDULLAH BOZKURT The terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) leader Murat Karayılan (whose last name literally means Blacksnake) claimed that it was, in fact, the US that killed 34 Kurdish smugglers on Dec. 28, 2011, on their way from Iraq to the Turkish border. In a specially arranged interview with four Turkish dailies on the sidelines […]

US Rep. Scott: Gülen movement cannot be designated as “terrorist organization”

Congressman David Scott, representing Georgia’s 13th congressional district, has said that Gülen movement cannot and should not be designated as a “terrorist organization” while expressing his concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s including the movement on the list of “Turkish terrorist organizations.”

Turkish intelligence abducts Gülen-linked expats in Malaysia: relatives

With the government praising Malaysia over its alleged deportation of three Turkish citizens due to their links to the Gülen movement, recent tips from relatives stated that they were in fact abducted by Turkish intelligence officers.

French editor says Gülen’s messages on anti-terrorism revolutionary

A French editor-in-chief has praised the anti-terrorism messages in an article written by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and published by a prestigious French daily last month, describing them as revolutionary and one of the “signs of hope” in 2015, which he said was marked by terror and fear.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gulen talks to major international media on Turkey coup attempt

Albania Ignores Erdogan’s Tirade Against Gulen

Q&A: Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen

They busted the house of a deceased teacher to take her under custody

Gülen’s speech broadcast live for first time after website banned

Hizmet is rooted in the culture of dialogue

CHP leader calls on PM Erdoğan for explanation on action plan against Gülen movement

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News