Late Ottoman modernist/rationalist discourses on Islam: superstition, Sufism and Şemseddin Günaltay
Karpuzcu, Hakan Feyzullah (2008) Late Ottoman modernist/rationalist discourses on Islam: superstition, Sufism and Şemseddin Günaltay. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1276466 (Table of Contents)
This study attempts to sketch a general picture of the late Ottoman conceptualizations of Islam through the preliminary observation of the ideas of M. Şemseddin (Günaltay), an important intellectual and political figure of the Ottoman Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918). More specifically this thesis deals with why and how Şemseddin Günaltay devised an exclusionary rhetoric on Sufi orders and superstitions. In Şemseddin Günaltay's understanding of Islam, superstitions, folk beliefs and Sufi practices were represented as the "other" of the imagined "true Islam" as an essentialized and homogenized category. While the idea of "true Islam" was thereby identified by Şemseddin Günaltay with the notion of "natural religion" which was a product of the Western Enlightenment thought, it was streamlined as a rationalized, scientific and "privatized" religion. In this regard, this study argues that Şemseddin Günaltay's conception of Islam was in some ways emblematic of the late Ottoman patterns to understand and define religion. Therefore studying Şemseddin Günaltay's discourse on true Islam is on the one hand useful to analyze how Islam was undertaken as an ambiguous and functional entity for various social ends like adjusting Islam to the necessities of the time or devising some Islamic reform projects. On the other hand this might contribute to draw at least a partial picture of the underlying transformations in cognitive codes of the late Ottoman intellectual life as well as the new meanings Islam acquired. In order to fulfill these goals, this thesis focuses on Şemseddin Günaltay's intellectual production during the Second Constitutional Period.
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