"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, May 10, 2013

Religion in Turkey Today

Turkey remains in the headlines, not only because of a recent visit there by the US secretary of state, and not only because Turkey continues to receive many refugees from Syria, but also because Turkish Christian-Muslim relations remain controverted and difficult. Turkey was, of course, explicitly founded in the aftermath of the Great War as an officially and deliberately "secular" Muslim power. But that founding secularism has increasingly come in for challenge in the last decade. A recent book helps to shed light on these developments: Berna Turam, ed., Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces in Play in Turkey (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 234pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
Ever since the highly controversial appointment of a pious president in the secular Turkish Republic in 2007, both the Turkish state and society have been deeply divided over the issue of piety and Muslim politics. The essays in this book reveal that state secularism and religious society mutually form, inform and transform each other. The contributors use fresh data and a variety of primary research methods to explore all the facets of the state-society relationship and consider the implications of their findings for freedom and democracy in the state.

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