The Turkish Transformation: A Study in Social and Religious Development

The Turkish Transformation: A Study in Social and Religious Development

The Turkish Transformation: A Study in Social and Religious Development

The Turkish Transformation: A Study in Social and Religious Development

Excerpt

Religious systems and religious thought in every section of the world are today undergoing severe periods of questioning and readjustment as men learn to control the forces of nature and lose their sense of dependence upon supernatural agencies. Islam is no exception. The last thirty-five years have seen it struck unmercifully by all the forces of scientific thought, machinery, and nationalism which developed in Christendom over a period of centuries and to which Christianity had to learn to adapt itself.

To make an exhaustive study of Islam's reaction to the influences which have been loosed upon it in recent years would require several volumes and many years of careful study and travel. For Islam cannot be treated as a unit. It includes within its ranks diversified sects with beliefs as varied as those of Christendom, which includes nominally the worshipers of Abyssinia and Concord, Massachusetts. In Islam may be found the puritanical Wahhabis of the Arabian Desert and the broad-minded followers of Baha'ullah. Their reactions to innovations will be as different as are those of Abyssinians and Unitarians. "Islam" is a term which must be used very guardedly when generalizing.

Of the composite mass which goes to make up Islam, no unit today presents a more interesting or amazing picture than Turkey in its eager rush to escape from the toils of ignorance and superstition which have for so many years retarded her progress. When one remembers the centuries of bitterness and bloodshed, of jealousy and misunderstanding . . .

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