Academic Papers


Sufism and Modernity in the Thought of Fethullah Gülen

In trying to bring together two such disparate concepts as “Sufism” and “modernity” in the thought of Fethullah Gülen, I realize that I have undertaken a slippery task. On the one hand, Sufism, the generally accepted term for the Islamic mystical tradition, is not one clearly defined religious movement, but an interrelated network of ideas […]

The Gülen Movement: A Sufi-type Spirituality for Modern Societies

The emergence in Europe and North America of interest in the thought of Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen is a phenomenon that demands explanation. Several American universities, such as Rice and Georgetown, have held academic seminars to study the various aspects of his thought. In Europe, in the Netherlands, for example, at least four universities (Nijmegen, […]

Fethullah Gülen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi

One of the modern Muslims who have appropriated Rumi’s attitudes and integrated them into their own understanding of Islamic faith and practice is the Turkish scholar and religious leader, Muhammad Fethullah Gülen. The correspondence of Mevlana to Gülen is that of kindred spirits who, across the centuries, share an interpretation of the Qur’anic message as […]

Two Frontrunners for Peace

Of those religious thinkers of modern times who have attempted to study the concept of peace to explore what is involved in establishing and maintaining peace, I want to compare the thought of two persons who have made a remarkable contribution to the topic. One is a Christian, Pope John Paul II, leader of the […]

The Gülen Movement: Its Contribution at a Time of Global Tensions

My topic for this evening is the spiritual and educational movement associated with the name of Fethullah Gülen and the contribution that the members of Gulen movement are making to Muslim-Christian harmony in the midst of today’s tense and sometimes violent climate. I know that many of you are already well acquainted with this movement, […]

Foreword to the book: Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance

I can cite my own case as an example. I am a Catholic priest, an American living in Rome. I have known the members of the movement associated with Fethullah Gülen for more than a decade, and I can state that they are sincerely and impressively living the teachings of their spiritual guide. They respectfully […]

The Contribution of Interfaith Dialogue to Peace Building

To further its pursuits of interreligious dialogue, the Gulen movement has created the Intercultural Dialogue Platform as a project of the movement’s Istanbul-based Writers and Journalists Foundation. The IDP has been particularly active in sponsoring and organizing “Abrahamic” dialogues with high-ranking representatives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Gülen movement also organizes associations for the […]

Fethullah Gülen: Inspirer of Multi-disciplinary Studies

“The work of Gülen’s followers in Turkey shows that Islam—as taught by Gülen—seeks tolerance, not conflict; it aims for a better society, not political power; and it manifests itself in prayer and concrete local action.” “As early as the eighteenth century, Goethe knew that the East and the West were inseparable. However, today’s society has […]