Ziya Gökalp's separation of religion and state: a comparison with American and French models
Chun, Daeil (2015) Ziya Gökalp's separation of religion and state: a comparison with American and French models. [Thesis]
Against the view insisting that separation of religion and state is a Western phenomenon, foreign to Islamic culture, I examine a Turkish case for separation, a case made by Ziya Gökalp (1876-1924), who argued that the Islamic separation model is closer to Protestant separation models than to French secularism. My first conclusion is that Gökalp’s separation shows the distinctive philosophical reflection to affirm separation from within his religion, and therefore it is closer to American separation model, which allows religious citizens to translate their religious views into the public language accessible to all parties—either religious or secular—in public sphere. From the first conclusion, a corollary follows: the claim concerning the absence of separation outside the West needs to be questioned insofar as Gökalp’s Islamic separation is similar with American separation model. Second, Gökalp’s own comparative claim about the Western church-state relations, if it is read with other comparative arguments concerning separation, shows that separation has the multiple fronts of conceptual contestation.
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