This is an attempt to reflect on Islam as it appears in the context of Fethullah Gulen's teachings, an influential Turkish-Muslim scholar who inspired a movement of education and interfaith dialogue. Grinell's extensive study of Islam and of Gulen allows him to pinpoint a unique expression of values and beliefs that could alter the typical understanding of Islam and Muslims in the West. He draws upon his previous studies of the Gulen Movement and comparatively places Gulen in a wider context of faith and society. What is the concept of knowledge in Islam as understood by Gulen? How is faith and service to people connected? Is Gulen after building a sultanate? Does the Gulen movement have a (hidden) political agenda? How traditional or modern is Gulen? These are some of the questions Grinell attempts to answer from his perspective. As a humanistic researcher on Islam, Grinell believes we definitely have something to learn from Islam.
Klas Grinell lives and works in Sweden. He has been involved in Turkey and Islam since 1992 as a tour guide, human rights activist and researcher. He is associate professor in the History of Ideas and works as a curator of contemporary global issues at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. He has published on the public role of museums, on Orientalism and post-colonial theory, on the impact of international tourism, as well as on Islamic history of ideas, Fethullah Gulen, and Turkish history of politics.