The Theology of Interfaith Dialogue

M. Hakan Yavuz

in Toward an Islamic Enlightenment

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199927999
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980543 | DOI:
The Theology of Interfaith Dialogue

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As the movement became transnational, it had to formulate new approaches to deal with diverse religions and cultures. Rather than the “clash of civilizations,” Gülen insisted on the coalition of civilizations and religions. The interaction with the “other” became an important issue and the movement sought to develop an ethic of interaction with the “other” by utilizing Islamic tradition. Interfaith dialogue, for Gülen, is a necessity not an option. Dialogue is defined as a way of developing a “common mindset.” After examining different modes of interfaith dialogue as exclusivist, inclusivist, and pluralist, the Gülen movement moves back and forth between the exclusivist and the inclusivist camp. The theological origins of Gülen's interfaith dialogue are derived from the sacred texts and also from Islamic historical cases. Love, tolerance, recognition are stressed as the theological basis of tolerance. The purpose of the dialogue, for the movement, is to develop a shared language of common concerns and mutual recognition. The last part of the chapter examines the criticism of the interfaith dialogue of the Gülen movement as being instrumentalist and not truly accepting of the “other.”

Keywords: interfaith; recognition; Yunus Emre; Sufism; Alan Race; Hans Kung

Chapter.  10916 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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