Peaceful Coexistence: Fethullah Gulens Initiatives For Peace In The Contemporary World

Venue: Erasmus University

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Event Date/Time: Nov 23, 2007 End Date/Time: Nov 24, 2007
Abstract Submission Date: May 31, 2007
Paper Submission Date: Sep 30, 2007
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Call for Papers

The need for peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims within and between nations has long been recognized. The much publicized failures in relations in recent years, which are both a cause and effect of the situation in many parts of the world – not just the Middle East – should spur all right-minded people to re-double their efforts to sustain the hope for peaceful co-existence.

Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic scholar and peace activist, and the mentor of a dynamic faith-based movement that has inspired a generation of Muslims in Turkey and abroad to undertake charitable works, especially in education. After thirty years of activism in the field they now constitute one of the most effective and influential Muslim faith-based movements of the 21st century. They work to raise moral and religious awareness by founding non-denominational schools and universities and so encourage intercultural dialogue and understanding. Their work makes a practical contribution to constructive, positive relations between the West and the Muslim world, with special focus on issues such as democracy, multiculturalism, globalization, and intercultural dialogue in the context of secular modernity.

By focussing on Gülen’s ideas and practice, this Conference aims to explore the appeal and impact of the Gülen movement’s worldwide initiatives to help people respond creatively to the profound social changes that are taking root everywhere. These changes make the world an increasingly integrated place, while its people juggle different, often divided identities. A particular focus will be the movement's long-established and ongoing projects dedicated to improving North–South and East–West relations, and to building trust and cooperativeness among people of different faith traditions.

Major themes:
1. Peaceful Muslim–non-Muslim co-existence in a secular context
2. Inclusiveness and integration
3. The necessity and importance of dialogue
4. The positive role of non-denominational education
5. The state of East–West, North–South relations
6. Reconciling and balancing reason and faith
7. Understanding the benefits of democracy
8. The role of shared values in building civility and citizenship

Abstracts (max. 500 words) with a brief CV (max. 200 words) of the author(s) should be submitted by 31 May 2007 to

Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts