Muslim Subjectivities

M. Hakan Yavuz

in Toward an Islamic Enlightenment

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199927999
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980543 | DOI:
Muslim Subjectivities

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The new Anatolian Sunni Muslim business groups provided the necessary economic support for the formation of the counter (Islamic) public sphere to challenge the official (Kemalist) public sphere. By utilizing Jürgen Habermas's concept of the public sphere, the author examines how Gülen and his followers bring new understandings of Islam into public deliberations. The new expanding public sphere has already conditioned Islam and encouraged religious groups to critically engage with one another, as well as secular segments of society. This chapter explores the “consensus building” among diverse ideological groups in the public sphere. The main consequence of bringing Islam into the public sphere has been the cross-fertilization of the universal and the particular; tradition and modernity; reason and revelation. The open discussion in the public sphere had a moderating and liberalizing impact on Islamic understanding. The Gülen movement has successfully utilized the public sphere to build bridges between diverse groups with different views of the good life. However, when the movement allied itself with the governing AKP political party, it started to stress particularity and bonding over bridge building with stridently secular forces. This chapter indicates that religious ideas could play a positive role in the thickening of public discussion and also indicates how religious groups frame their religious argument in secular form to attract broader sectors of the society.

Keywords: the public sphere; secularism; democracy; reasonable argument; tolerance; identity; Abant Platform; Jürgen Habermas

Chapter.  8235 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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