Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey

The Religious Opposition to Sunni Revival

Nineteenth-century Istanbul was an intellectual hub of rich discussions about Islam, in which leading reformists had a significant role. Turkey today appears to be an intellectual vacuum to anyone searching for ongoing critical engagement with Islam. Les mer
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Om boka

Nineteenth-century Istanbul was an intellectual hub of rich discussions about Islam, in which leading reformists had a significant role. Turkey today appears to be an intellectual vacuum to anyone searching for ongoing critical engagement with Islam. The main purpose of this book is to adjust this view of Turkey by showcasing the modern Turkish theologians who challenge mainstream Sunni interpretations of Islam. Labelling these theologians as ‘rationalist’ rather than ‘reformist’, the author reveals that their theology is inherently anti-establishment and thus a religiously-oriented challenge to the hegemony of the state-sanctioned Islam: for the rationalists, Turkey’s problems have their origins in the Sunni interpretation of Islam.

Contemporary Rationalist Islam in Turkey analyses nine prominent scholars of Islam who provide a religious opposition to the Sunni revival in Turkey: Hüseyin Atay, Yasar Nuri Öztürk, M. Hayri Kirbasoglu, Ilhami Güler, R. Ihsan Eliaçik, Ömer Özsoy, Mustafa Öztürk, Israfil Balci, and Mehmet Azimli. These scholars’ writings are almost exclusively published in Turkish, so this book makes their ideas available in English for the first time. It also examines the scope, methodology and argumentation of the scholars’ theology, categorizing their theological interpretations from ‘historicist’ to ‘universalist’ and from ‘empiricist’ to ‘rationalist’. In identifying a new ‘rationalist’ school of Turkish theology and outlining its different manifestations, the book breaks new ground. It fills a significant gap in the literature on Islamic studies and reveals an understudied dimension of Turkey and Turkish Islam beyond the well-known ideas of the AKP and the Gulenists.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

Introduction
The Political Context
The sociology of Turkish Rationalists
Defining Islamic Rationalism
Explaining the Cases: Historicists and Universalists
The Structure of the Book

Chapter 1: The Fundamentals: Qur’an and Hadith
The rationalists on Qur’an
Historicists on the Nature of Qur’an
Historicists Interpreting Qur’an
Universalists on the Nature of Qur’an
Universalists Interpreting Qur’an
The rationalists on Hadith
The Status of Traditions
Criticizing the Hadith Literature
The Debate on Methodology

Chapter 2: Law: Demystifying Shari‘a
The Nature and the Status of Shari‘a
Cases: A Rationalist Interpretation of Shari‘a
Corporal Punishment
Slavery
Apostasy
Jihad
The Status and Rights of Women in Islam
The Law of Inheritance Polygamy Divorce Marriage with non-Muslims Beating Women Women’s Testimony Veiling
Who is a good Muslim? A Moralistic Theory of Piety
Shari‘a in Practice: Comprehensive Sunnah
Islam and Politics: Towards a Theory of Opposition

Chapter 3: History: “De-Islamizing” Islamic History
Turkish Rationalists on History and Causality
Revisionism on the History of Qur’an
Revisionism on Muhammad’s Life
Revisionism on the Early Islamic History

Chapter 4: Politics and Society: What went wrong?
The Mainstream Theory of Decay
The Rise of Sunni Orthodoxy
Al-Ghazali: The Triumph of Anti-Rationalism
Ash‘arism: The Paradigmatic Root
Al-Shafi‘i: “The Villain”
The Umayyads: The Practical Distortion of Islam
Sufism: Popularization of Anti-Rationalism
Contemporary Islamic Social Movements: A False Theory of Revival

Conclusion

Om forfatteren

Gökhan Bacik is Professor of Political Science at Palacky University in the Czech Republic. He is the author of Islam and Muslim Resistance to Modernity in Turkey (2020) and Hybrid Sovereignty in the Arab Middle East: The Cases of Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan (2008), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. He previously worked as Associate Professor of International Relations at Ipek Universit, Turkey. His scholarship centers around contemporary politics of Islam and the Middle East.