Nov 9, 2015
“Renewing Islam by Service: A Christian View of Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement” 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. The life and works of Gülen are analyzed against the background of developments in Turkish society, and of spiritual Islamic tendencies in the transition from the Ottoman empire to the secular republic. Pim Valkenberg includes stories of his personal experiences with supporters of this movement, in a number of different countries, and analyzes the spiritual practices and the faith-based service of this movement that is also compared to some important Christian religious movements.
Pim (Wilhelmus G.B.M.) 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.
Paul L. Heck is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in Georgetown University’s Department of Theology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is founding director of The Study of Religions across Civilizations (SORAC). His scholarly interests focus on the history of skepticism in Islam, mysticism and the role of spirituality in Muslim society, views on martyrdom in the three monotheist traditions, the phenomenon of theo-humanism, the emergent field of comparative scripture, and issues in political theology. Some of these themes were treated in Common Ground: Islam, Christianity and Religious Pluralism (2009). His most recent monograph is Skepticism in Classical Islam: Moments of Confusion (2013). His work overall, looking at three faith traditions through a single if refracted lens, seeks to bring sharper insight to our knowledge of the phenomenon of beliefs and their role in scholarly circles and society in general.