Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Ian S. Markham, Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: A Model of Interfaith Dialogue

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Ian S. Markham, Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: A Model of Interfaith Dialogue

Article excerpt

Ian S. Markham, Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: A Model of Interfaith Dialogue. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co.; Famham, Surrey, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2009. Pp. 179. $79.95.

This book is an excellent resource for the growing field of Nursi studies and is to be congratulated for its thoughtful insights at the intersection between Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and interfaith dialogue. Bediuzzaman, meaning "Wonder of the Age," is the honorific Turkish title of Said Nursi, who contributed a great deal to the formation of modem Turkish Islamic identity by facing up to the secularist Turkish Republic. This book examines Said Nursi's thoughts on interfaith dialogue in the contemporary context of globalism and globalization that considers both plurality of and encounters among religions. Markham is convinced and is convincing that "every religious tradition needs a Said Nursi" (p. 145), who is more "a both/and thinker than an either/or one" (p. 22). A "both/and thinker" emphasizes an interdependent relationship between self and others for mutual understanding, rather than dichotomizing them, and thereby is equipped with what Markham calls a "dialogical spirit" (p. 142).

A both/and approach characterizes this book. Notably, from a both/and standpoint, Markham finds "in Said Nursi's writings a strong commitment to love, coupled with an equally strong commitment to respecting the liberty of the other" (p. …

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