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Dialectical Encounters

Contemporary Turkish Muslim Thought in Dialogue

Taraneh Wilkinson

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Offers a fresh look at the mediation of authenticity and authority in Turkish expressions of Islam

Discussions of Islam in Turkey are still heavily dominated by political considerations and the dualistic paradigms of modern v. traditional, secular v. religious. Yet there exists a body of Muslim institutions in the country – Turkish theology faculties – whose work overcomes ideological divisions. By engaging with Turkish theology in its theological rather than political concerns, this book sheds light on complex Muslim voices in the context of a largely Western and Christian modernity.

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Part 1: Introduction

Introduction: Turkish Muslim "Theology" and Religion in Turkey

Roots and Authorities: Resituating Revisionist and Ankara Paradigms in Light of Other Authorities


Part 2: The Individual and Authority in Dialectical Continuity

Alpyağıl’s Case for Canon

Inclusions and the Role of the Individual


Part 3: A Theological Anthropology of Empowerment

Düzgün’s Case for a Religion of Freedom

Human Agency, Responsibility, and Tawhid


Part 4: Conclusions

From Dialectics to Direct Address: Turkish Theologians on Atheism and Other Religions

Conclusion: Reflections on Turkish Islam, Modernity, and Dialogue


About the Author

Taraneh R. Wilkinson obtained her Ph.D. in Religious Pluralism at Georgetown University. She is continuing her work on comparative aspects of Muslim and Christian thought as an international postdoctoral fellow at FSCIRE in Bologna, Italy. Her work addresses comparative aspects of Muslim and Christian thought and she has published articles in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences and Journal of Ecumenical Studies.


This rich study gives a great insight into contemporary theological thinking in Turkey. Often considered a bridge between the Arabic and the Western world, Turkey has a significant but largely unexplored theological tradition. Taraneh Wilkinson has provided a great service by composing this careful theological evaluation of some of the bridge builders in contemporary Turkish Islam.

- Pim Valkenberg, The Catholic University of America

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