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Islamic Theology of the 21st Century

Enlightened Islam


The Paradigm of Said Nursi


- a project of Stuttgart Foundation for Science and Religion

Facing diverse appearances of Islam, we do right to wonder how Islam is indeed of consequence to us.
There are states which are called Islamic by their leaders and there are many peoples whose members confess to Islam. Moreover many people in Europe are Muslims. In spite of that, Islam has a vaguely look for outstanding people. Many Muslims and non-Muslims feel overtaxed when they are asked for explanations concerning this wide topic.
Is the Islamic religion a political ideology, whose followers try to receive more and more people? The spread of interpretations of religion including one extremum and its opposite makes it looking difficult to come to an objective view.
Serving as orientation in these topical questions this book tackles fundamental aspects.
In this book a discussion about Islamic principles in theological, philosophical, private and social fields is reflected by a great Islamic scholar of our times.
That brings clarity, because it makes clear what is striking and what is it all about, what people do engage for and what the elementary aspects of Islam are. Neither studying great books nor any wider pre-knowledge about Islam is required for reading this book. This book offers rich views into the nature and the basis of Islam.... >>>


Preface to the Book in Hand

I. Fundamental aspects of Islam: To provide guidance in topical questions

1. Religion and Belief
2. Islam - The Denomination of God
3. The Koran and Its Key for Understanding
3.1. Forms of Interpretation
3.2. The Criteria of Koranic Exegesis
4. The Exclusion of Others?
    "Those Who Believe in God Will Not Be Sad..."
4.1. Friendship Between Believers of Different Views
4.2. What Is the Meaning of Islam? What Does It Mean to Be a Muslim?
5. Legal Order and the Term "Sharia"
5.1. Secularism
6. The Place of Religion
6.1. The Relationship Between Religion and Modern Society
7. Love and Wisdom

II. Enlightened Islam: The Paradigm of Said Nursi

▪  The Basic Approach
▪  1. Religion and Science
▪  2. Philosophy and Mysticism
▪  3. The most Urgent in Islam – Faith
▪  4. In Favour of a New Self-Conception
▪  Koranic Dimension




1. The Discovery of Spiritual Turkey

▪  Exterior Appearance and the Garden of the Spirit in a Barren Landscape

2. Thoughts out of the View of Religion Sociology

▪  The Tie with the Past and the Problem of Identity


3. Qur'anic Commentary, Public Space, and Religious Intellectuals

▪  The Issue of "Articulation"
▪  Education and Authority
▪  Conclusion: An Emerging Pubilic Sphere

4. Impressions of the Life and Work of Said Nursi

▪  On the Rise of Nationalism as a Substitute for Religion
▪  Sufism, Tariqah and Haqiqah (Mysticism and Truth)
▪  The Five Faces of Exile
▪  Modernity and the Risale-i Nur
▪  Quotes


5. The Interpretation of Jihad

▪  The General Concept of Striving in Life
▪  Continuity of Thought, Despite Change
▪  In the Age of Progress
▪  Striving for Knowledge and Science (Jihad-i’ Ilmi)
▪  The Real Origin of Civilization
▪  The Precedence of Individual Morality
▪  Preservation of the Faith
▪  Mental Commitment and Endeavoring (Mânevî Jihad).
▪  Attaining “Sure Belief“
▪  The Practical Struggle
▪  Refusing the Politicization of Religion
▪  Mânevî Jihad and “Positive Action”
▪  For Freedom and True Devoutness


6. Relation, Reason and Truth with Said Nursi and Paul Tillich

▪  Reason and Revelation
▪  Nursi’s Derivation of the Disciplines of Knowledge
▪  Tillich’s Derivation of the Disciplines of Knowledge
▪  Dimensions of Truth

7. The Concept of Man: Mevlânâ Jalâl al-Dîn and Said Nursi

▪  Man and His Meta-history
▪  Man's Dual Nature
▪  Man's Inner Faculties: Intellect and Heart


8. Social Theory across Cultures: The Parallel of Gramsci and Nursi in the Space of Eurocentrism
▪  Orientalism and Eurocentrism
▪  An Anecdotal Encounter
▪  Biographies of Dissidence, Prisons and Ideas
▪  Hegemony and Consent: Ideological Struggle in
   Modern Societies
▪  Similar Ideas in a Non-Western Context
▪  The Predicament of Representation: Italian Nursi
   or Turkish Gramsci?
9. The Essence of Prayer and the Ethical Vision
▪  The Prayer Canon
▪  The Ethical Vision
▪  Body Ethics — The Person as God’s Creation
▪  Social Ethics — The Person in Relationship
▪  Eschatological Ethics — The Person as Sinner in Hope
   of Salvation
▪  The Essence of Worship

10. Philosophy and the Wisdom of the Qur'an

▪  The Scholar as Philosopher
▪  The Differentiation of Philosophy and Wisdom

11. The Problem of Theodicy

▪  The Search for Answer to the Grief
▪  The Understanding, Interpretation, and Solution of the Problem


12. The Apocalypse

▪  The Dealing with the Prophecies of the End of Time

13. Estrangement as Paradigm for Muslim Life

▪  The Defense of Islam
▪  Encounter with Europe of the First and Second World War
▪  The Model for Overcoming the Estrangement

14. Islam and the Environment

▪  Where Materialism and Spirituality Meet

15. Text and Community: An Analysis of the Risale-i Nur Movement

▪  The Ontological Foundations
▪  The History of Islam Within the History of Mankind
▪  The Search for Integrity
▪  Social Implications of the Ontological Foundations
▪  Beyond Extremism: The Moderate Way
▪  Plural Thinking
▪  Openness to the Levels of Meaning
▪  The Open and Flexible Structure
▪  The Universality of the Risale-i Nur
▪  Emphasis on Universal Justice
▪  The Public Expression
▪  A Brief History of the Post-Nursi Era
▪  The Breaking Point: The First Three Years of the 1970s
▪  The Rise of Political Islam
▪  Institutionalization
▪  The Variety of the Current
▪  Efforts to Find Solutions
▪  Divisions and Aftermath
▪  The Balance Sheet of the Post-Nursi Era
▪  Problem Situations and Perspectives

16. The Formation of New Religious Consciousness in Turkey

▪  Challenge to Positivism
▪  The Construction of Ethics of the Individuals
▪  Relocation Collective Memory
▪  Dershanes: A New Public Space?
▪  The Pluralism of the Nur Movement


 17. Islamic Thought in the Present

▪  The Arrival of Western Thinking
▪  The Project of Renewal


Edition: Cäcilia Schmitt

Translation: Cäcilia Schmitt, Anu Lannen, Steven McManus, Alexander Demir and others

These and  further chapters will be
available to you in a short time.



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