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Date/Time
Date(s) - 02/16/2016
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location
Texas Union Building

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Islamic Reform and Secularization: Late Ottoman Intellectual Discussions

Tuesday, February 16 at 5:00pm

Texas Union Building (UNB), 3.208 2247 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas 78705

A lecture by Mustafa Gökçek, Niagara University

An increasing number of Muslim intellectuals today call and strive for reform in Islamic thought. The fallacies of political Islam and inadequacies of classical legal interpretations in ameliorating Muslim societies’ conditions have led many to seek alternate approaches to the role of Islam in everyday life. A similar quest was conducted about a century ago in a similarly cataclysmic environment, namely in the late Ottoman Empire. Especially after the 1908 Young Turk coup, Ottoman intellectuals looked to reform the centuries-old Ottoman political structure. Those deliberating reform quickly turned to the tools of Islamic legal language in order to expand the secular space and narrow the role of Islamic institutions in political and social leadership. This lecture will address the late Ottoman Muslim debates on Islamic reform and identify several concepts that inform reformist thought today.

Dr. Mustafa Gökçek is an Associate Professor of History at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY. His research interests include contemporary social movements in Muslim societies. He is the founding chair of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies program and the director of a master’s program in Interdisciplinary Studies at Niagara University.