Gülen’s Approach to Dialogue and Peace: Its Theoretical Background and Some Practical Perspectives

By Gurkan Celik and Pim Valkenberg.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The reality of multiculturalism, social and religious pluralism, and intercultural tensions and conflicts require new approaches of interaction, education and communication. Fethullah Gülen is one of the most persuasive and influential voices in the Muslim community calling for dialogue as a step to peace. He proposes dialogue as a method to be used in building and establishing a culture of peace among co-religionists, people of different ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds. He sees dialogue as a framework of mutual acceptance and respect of each other’s identity. This is the first stage of Gülen’s dialogue concept: accepting the others in their own position. The second stage involves respecting the position of the other(s), and the third stage is the concept of sharing values in the context of the other(s). Gülen conviction’s is that humanity ultimately will be led to peace and unity by recognizing and accepting social, cultural, and religious diversity, an exchange of mutual values and union in collaboration.

Keywords: Dialogue, Peace, Multiculturalism, Intercultural Tensions, Clash of Civilizations

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 588.383KB).

Gurkan Celik

PhD student, Radboud University, Cosmicus Foundation & Utrecht University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Gurkan Celik (1976) received his Master in Policy and Organization Studies at the Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Currently, he is working as a research advisor and project leader of diversity policy at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands. As a PhD student, Mr. Celik examines Gülen's views on human being from perspectives of education, dialogue and theological anthropology. He has been serving as the president of the Cosmicus Foundation, a national network organisation for students, alumni and academics in the Netherlands. His research interests include leadership development, human resource management, diversity policy, philosophical and theological anthropology, personal development, and education. Mr. Celik has also contributed numerous articles to journals, and is (co-)author of several publications, including `Fethullah Gülen en de dialoog´ [Fethullah Gülen and the Dialogue], 2006; Voorlopers in de Vrede [Forerunners for Peace], 2005; Hizmetkar Liderlik [Servant Leadership], 2003; Stapsgewijs naar een Nieuwe Cultuur en Leiderschapsstijl [Step by Step Towards a New Culture and Leadership Style], 2002.

Dr. Pim Valkenberg

Theologian, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Loyola College, Baltimore MD & Radboud University, Baltimore, Netherlands

Pim (W.G.B.M.) Valkenberg (1954) lives in the Netherlands and works as a Christian theologian in the department of theology and religious studies at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Currently, Dr. Valkenberg teaches as affiliate professor at Loyola College in Baltimore MD. His research concentrates on Christian-Muslim dialogue in the context of Abrahamic partnership, both in the present and in the past. His publications include a dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas (Words of the Living God, Leuven 2000), on Abrahamic dialogue in the Middle Ages (The Three Rings, Leuven 2005) and on Muslim-Christian dialogue and theology (Sharing Lights on the Way to God, Amsterdam – New York 2006), including a reading of texts by al-Ghazali, Said Nursi and Fethullah Gülen from the perspective of a comparative Muslim-Christian theology.

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