University of Texas – Pan American College of Arts and Humanities, in cooperation with the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, is hosting a conference on the ideas of Fethullah Gülen and the faith-based civil society movement inspired by his discourse: the Hizmet or Gülen Movement. The main goal of this conference is to examine the Gülen Movement from a multi-disciplinary and comparative perspective in an attempt to understand in what ways the participants of the Gülen Movement promote global peace through educational activities and interfaith dialogue. At the heart of this lies the question of whether such dialogue can overcome or avert the “clash of civilizations,” predicted by such scholars as Samuel P. Huntington, which has become a rallying cry for many on both sides of the perceived East/West ideological divide. The activities of the Gülen Movement vary from education to health services to disaster relief work. The chief concern for this conference is to determine how the interfaith dialogue that occurs within these activities may serve to ease the pressures of globalization.
Possible themes and questions for the conference may include but are not limited to:
• Would Gülen’s thought contribute to the advancement of the modern society that would embrace a peaceful coexistence of multi-ethnic, multi-religious groups in a democratic state structure?
• Was it the pragmatic needs of the social mobilization or a modern interpretation of Islam that shaped the ideas of Gülen?
• How does Gülen view the compatibility of democracy and Islam in modern society?
• How does pluralism emerge in Gülen’s thought?
• How do the interfaith dialog activities of the Gülen Movement bring Gülen’s thought from theory into practice?
• Do the educational activities of the Gülen Movement contribute to global peace?
• Gülen’s ideas in the practice of the Gülen Movement: Educational, healthcare and financial institutions and NGOs,
• Financial resources of the Gülen Movement,
• Gülen’s thought on capitalism,
• A comparative analysis of Gülen and other philosophers,
• A comparative analysis of the Gülen Movement and other faith-based groups,
• Pluralism and democracy in Gülen’s thought and in the Gülen Movement’s practice,
• Interfaith dialog activities of the Gülen Movement,
• Gülen’s thought on different versions of secularism
All abstracts must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 8, 2010. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and written in MS Word or similar rich text format.
Please include (GM 2010-last name, first name) on the subject line of your email.
All submitted abstracts will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. All applicants will be notified by February 5, 2010. The organization committee will select the best papers with the intention of seeking publication with an academic press.
Full papers are due by Friday, March 12, 2010. Papers should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words including a 300 word abstract and notes. Chicago manual of style should be followed.
A limited number of travel grants are available for no more than $500.00 for presenters only.
Applicants for the travel grant should include a 500 word summary explaining the reason for their request.
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Place: University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Sponsors: IID, Institute of Interfaith Dialog
UTPA, College of Arts and Humanities
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