Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's Risale-I Nur

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

Subjects: Middle East Studies, Islam, Sociology Of Religion
Paperback : 9780791474747, 448 pages, July 2008
Hardcover : 9780791474730, 448 pages, July 2008

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Table of contents

Editor's Introduction
Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi

1. A Survey of the Main Spiritual Themes of the Risale-i Nur
Şükran Vahide

2. The Six-Sided Vision of Said Nursi: Toward a Spiritual Architecture of the Risale-i Nur
Colin Turner

3. Grounded Spirituality: The Challenge of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Ian Markham

4. At the Heart of the Matter: Faith and Belief in the Poetic Imagery of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Jane I. Smith

5. Faith Development and Spiritual Maturation in the Works of Said Nursi
Marcia Hermansen

6. The Spirit of Worship and the Result of Sincere Belief: Nursi's Mathnāwī al-'Arabī al-Nūrī as a Handbook for the Contemplative Life
Lucinda Mosher 

7. The Chief Characteristics of Spirituality in Said Nursi Religious Thought
Bilal Kuşpınar

8. Dreams and Dream Interpretation in Said Nursi's Risale-i Nur: Islamic, Judaic, and Universal Resonances
Yehezkel Landau

9. "For you, illness is good health": Said Nursi's Spirituality in His Approach to Physical Illness
Thomas Michel

10. Nursi on Hatred as the Root of Violence
Mustafa Ulusoy

11. Taking Faith to Heart: Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Islam
Asma Afsaruddin 

12. Said Nursi's Vision for a New Universal Culture of Dialogue
Abdelaziz Berghout 

13. The Threat to Spirituality
Fred A. Reed

14. Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī and Bediüzzaman Nursi: Some Comparative Considerations
Yohanan Friedmann 

15. "Visions of Plurality in Unity": Said Nursi, Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, and the Question of the Unity of Being
Stephen Hirtenstein

16. Exploring the Spiritual Dimensions of Nature: Ahmed-i Jiziri and Said Nursi
M. Sait Özervarlı

17. Sincerity in the Thought of Muhammad Iqbal and Bediuzzman Said Nursi
Ahmet Albayrak

18. Spirit and Spirituality: Linking the Lives of Two
Twentieth-Century Pioneers
Miriam Terese Winter

19. Selections from Nursi's Writings on Spirituality
tr. Şükran Vahide

List of Contributors

Essays on various facets of Nursi’s spirituality as portrayed in his Risale-i Nur.


The Nur community is one of the most significant religious and social movements in contemporary Turkey, with millions of adherents and a strong institutional and educational system throughout the country. This volume presents a picture of its spiritual dimensions by focusing on the ideas of its founder, Turkish theologian Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1877–1960). Prominent scholars in contemporary Islamic studies and comparative spirituality examine the various facets of Nursi's spirituality as revealed in his magnum opus, Risale-i Nur, which began to take shape in the 1920s and is considered Nursi's deep reflection on the Quran in light of rapidly changing conditions in Turkey. Nursi argued that Islam must be organically linked to empire in order to preserve its identity in the modern era, fostering a spiritual tradition that has steadfastly survived the secular project of Kemalism.

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi' holds the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World and the editor of several books, including Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi; Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi; and Contemporary Islamic Conversations: M. Fethullah Gülen on Turkey, Islam, and the West; all published by SUNY Press.


". ..this collection of essays is a most useful introduction to various aspects of Nursian spirituality and of the message of his Risale-i Nur. It is on a par with, if not better than, many other previously published collections of essays on Nursi and the cross-cultural and inter-religious appeal of the Nursian legacy. " — Journal of Islamic Studies

"Nursi is an interesting and highly relevant thinker today. The range of topics included here is impressive, and I especially liked the linking of work on Nursi to aspects of religious thought outside Islam. I suspect the book will be used in courses on Islamic studies as essential reading. " — Oliver Leaman, coauthor of Islam: The Key Concepts