Islam at the Crossroads

On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

Edited by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi'
Introduction by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi'

Subjects: Sociology Of Religion
Series: SUNY series in Near Eastern Studies
Paperback : 9780791457009, 391 pages, April 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456996, 391 pages, April 2003

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Table of contents

Note on Transliteration

Editor's Introduction

A Chronology of Said Nursi's Life
Sukran Vahide

1. Toward an Intellectual Biography of Said Nursi
Sukran Vahide

2. In the Footsteps of Said Nursi
Fred A. Reed

3. Reflections on Said Nursi's Life and Thought
Serif Mardin

4. Qur'anic Commentary, Public Space, and Religious Intellectuals in the Writings of Said Nursi
Dale F. Eickelman

5. How to Read Said Nursi's Risale-i Nur
Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi

6. Said Nursi's Interpretation of Jihad
Sukran Vahide

7. Prison Is a Hell for the Unbeliever: Thoughts and Reflections on Two Imprisoned Muslims
Ayize Jamat-Everett

8. Revelation, the Disciplines of Reason, and Truth in the Works of Said Nursi and Paul Tillich
Kelton Cobb

9. The Concept of Man: Mevlana Jalal al-Din and Said Nursi
Bilal Kuspinar

10. Forgetting Gramsci and Remembering Said Nursi: Parallel Theories of Gramsci and Said Nursi in the Space of Eurocentrism
Mucahit Bilici

11. The Marrow of Worship and the Moral Vision: Said Nursi and Supplication
Lucinda Allen Mosher

12. The Separation of Human Philosophy from the Wisdom of the Qur'an in Said Nursi's Work
Taha 'Abdel Rahman

13. The Problem of Theodicy in the Risale-i Nur
Mehmet S. Aydin

14. The Apocalypse in the Teachings of Said Nursi
Barbara Freyer Stowasser

15. Ghurbah as Paradigm for Muslim Life: A Risale-i Nur Worldview
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

16. Islam, the Environment, and Said Nursi
Oliver Leaman

17. Text and Community: An Analysis of the Risale-i Nur Movement
Metin Karabasoglu

18. Nur Study Circles (Dershanes) and the Formation of New Religious Consciousness in Turkey
M. Hakan Yavuz

19. Said Nursi's Project of Revitalizing Contemporary Islamic Thought
M. Sait Özervarli

20. Preface to the al-Mathnawi al-'Arabi al-Nuri
Translated by Redha Ameur




Sheds light on one of the most important religious thinkers in the modern Muslim world.


Distinguished scholars in Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Modern Turkish Studies examine the life and thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1877–1960) using a variety of approaches—theological, philosophical, sociological, and historical—to shed new light on one of the most important thinkers and religious leaders in the modern Muslim world. Early in his life Nursi had hoped to save the Ottoman Empire from collapse, but after the empire gave way to the modern Turkish Republic, Nursi found himself in disagreement with the vision of a secular, Western-style state fostered by Turkey's new leadership and withdrew from public life. Deemed a potential threat to the young Republic, he was condemned to a life of exile and imprisonment. This isolation, however, allowed him to write the works that were to form the basis of a "faith movement" that would not only keep alive the Islamic religion in Turkey, but also in later decades would become one of the most important religious movements in contemporary Turkey and an inspiration to millions throughout the Muslim world.

Contributors include Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi>, Redha Ameur, Mehmet S. Aydin, Mucahit Bilici, Kelton Cobb, Dale F. Eickelman, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Ayize Jamat-Everett, Metin Karabasogûlu, Bilal Kuspinar, Oliver Leaman, Serif Mardin, Lucinda Allen Mosher, M. Sait Özervarlı, Taha 'Abdel Rahman, Fred A. Reed, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, Sükran Vahide, and M. Hakan Yavuz.

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi' is Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary. He is the author of Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World and the editor of The Mystical Teachings of al-Shadhili: Including His Life, Prayers, Letters, and Followers. A Translation from the Arabic of Ibn al-Sabbagh's Durrat al-Asrar wa Tuhfat al-Abrar, both published by SUNY Press.


"…the editor is to be congratulated for attempting to bring contemporary ideas and analyses of Said Nursi's writings and subsequent movements to the scholarly foreground." —Miiddle East Studies Association Bulletin

"Nursi comes across as more complicated and nuanced than a mere oppositional figure; his ambiguous placement between a traditional thought world and a more contemporary, international, even secular and scientific world, is what makes him interesting. This collection finds alternative categories to situate Nursi and his followers in the context of the modern, secular Turkish Republic." — Karl K. Barbir, author of Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708–1758

"I am impressed by the breadth of coverage. I have rarely encountered a collection of works on a particular Islamic intellectual that is so thorough and varied." — Ralph Coury, coeditor of The Arab-African and Islamic Worlds: Interdisciplinary Studies