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Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey

The Case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi

By Prof. Dr. Şerif Mardin

The specific appeal of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi for his own followers provides a useful focus for a description of this type of articulation and for an analysis of the social processes which project the dynamic counterpart of the intermeshing of religion and social relations. Mardin follows parallel developments in a number of fields such as those of the world communication revolution, Turkish political and social reform, Turkish intellectual development and aspects of religious history that are relevant to a study of Said Nursi's biography.


Table of Contents

Front matter




I. Preliminary Approaches to the Biography of a Turkish Muslim Fundamentalist Thinker

II. Life

III. Religion, Ideology and Consciousness in the Ottoman Empire at the End of the Nineteenth Century

IV. Matrix and Meaning

V. The Saint and his Followers

VI. The Machinery of Nature






"In terms of both content and treatment, Mardin's book ranks very high among the few serious books devoted to Islam in modern Turkey. It is a definite step forward in the understanding of a subject hitherto clouded in propagandistic generalities. Bediuzzaman was the most significant Muslim thinker in twentieth-century Turkey, and the account of his case provided by Mardin is an important contribution of unusual value and sophistication to the current evaluation of religious movements in the modern Islamic world." -- Hamid Algar


"This is the best work I have seen on Islam and social change in a decade." -- Said Amir Arjomand

"The book offers a sympathetic account of a phenomenon of extreme importance for gaining an insight into modern Islamic movements, not only in Turkey, but also in much of the rest of the Islamic world. It is one of the few serious studies of contemporary Islamic movements." -- William C. Chittick

"As the question of religious fundamentalism in Turkey has long been tabu, the author's detailed treatment of its content and context is a real contribution. By carefully placing Said Nursi and his movement in the context of the late Ottoman Empire, the author has widened our understanding of late Ottoman popular culture and intellectual history. Furthermore as his approach is firmly rooted in the sociology of religion his conclusions about a particular Turkish case has applicability to the whole range of fundamentalist movements in the twentieth-century Muslim world." -- Bruce Masters

Serif Mardin is a professor in the Department of Public Administration at Bogazigi University, Istanbul.

Serif Mardin - Author

SUNY series in Near Eastern Studies

Hardcover - 267 pages

Release Date: July 1989

ISBN10: 0-88706-996-7

ISBN13: 978-0-88706-996-3

Price: $31.95

Paperback - 267 pages

Release Date: July 1989

ISBN10: 0-88706-997-5

ISBN13: 978-0-88706-997-0



Religion and social change in modern Turkey: the case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi / Şerif Mardin.


Mardin, Şerif


600dpi TIFF G4 page images

E-Distribution Information:

MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Source Version:

Religion and social change in modern Turkey : the case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi / Şerif Mardin.
Mardin, Şerif
Albany: State University of New York Press, c1989.



Subject Headings:

• Nursi, Said, -- 1873-1960 -- Philosophy
• Nurculuk
• Islam -- Turkey -- History
• Islamic sociology


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