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    Academic works on the Risale-i Nur Collection
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Insights from the Risale-i Nur: Said Nursi’s Advice for Modern Believers

Author: Thomas Michel
Pages: 250
Published by: Tughra Books

Publication Date: September 2013

The question of dialogues between different faiths and cultures is one of the most important questions of our fractured age. How can we reconcile so many, seemingly, vast and diverse viewpoints? What common ground can be found among people who are unhappy with the excess, violence, and poverty of our world? And what role, in particular, can faith play in that equation? With his new book, “Insights from the Risale-i Nur,” Thomas Michel sets out to answer some of these questions. Michel states his goal very early in the book: as a Jesuit priest, he wants to know where, if at all, he can find “points of convergence” between Christianity and Islam within Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’s seminal “Risale-i Nur.”

Nursi wrote the “Risale-i Nur” in the wake of two world wars. He’d watched as the secular advances of Western civilization had led to the near total destruction of Europe – not once, but twice. The collateral damage had deeply affected his home, Turkey, and its neighbors. Under such circumstances, it would have been understandable if Nursi’s writing had been rife with anger. Instead, as Michel astutely shows throughout his book, Nursi’s commentary is remarkably hopeful. He sought these “points of convergence” while also stressing what he believed as the truth of his own faith. Michel uses Nursi’s words to draw out the common ground between different faiths, and shows how these similarities can be applied in our contemporary age.

Both Nursi and Michel feel that the absence of religion – and not the differences between faiths – has led to the wars and poverties of the last century. By having a dialogue with Nursi’s text, Michel establishes a space for further dialogue between people of all faiths to occur. Both men express their adamant belief that faith – be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or something else – has an important, vital role to play in establishing a broad, lasting peace.


About the Author: Thomas Michel was ordained a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and later joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic theology from the University of Chicago. Professor Michel was director of the Islamic Office of the Vatican’s Council for Inter-religious Dialogue for thirteen years. He taught at various universities in different countries including the US, Turkey, and Qatar. He has extensively written and lectured on the Risale-i Nur and Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. About the Publisher: Tughra Books is a US-based publisher of Islamic books, Islamic history and art, spirituality and traditions. Tughra Books is dedicated to produce high-quality and reliable publications that contribute to the proliferation of peace and common understanding throughout the world.