Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam

A lecture and book signing by Helen Rose Ebaugh

Fri, April 23, 2010 | BUR 216

6:00 PM

This is one of the first academic books about Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar and preacher, and the civic movement he inspired in Turkey and ultimately throughout the world. The movement is rooted in moderate Islam and is committed to educating youth, fostering interfaith and intercultural dialog, assisting the needy in society and contributing to global peace.

Based on interview data and visits to Gülen-inspired institutions, the book describes the movement from a sociological perspective, especially through the lens of social movement theory. It is the first book, grounded in empirical methodology, to describe the movement to a Western audience.

It will be of special interest to social scientists interested in religious movements, religious scholars seeking information on Islamic movements and the general public eager to discover a moderate Islam that promotes humanitarian projects. (

Professor Ebaugh received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University in 1975 with specialties in organizational Sociology and the Sociology of Religion. In addition to five books, she has published numerous articles in scholarly journals, including The American Sociological Review, Social Forces, the Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Sociological Analysis and The Journal For The Scientific Study of Religion.

She served as president of the national Association for the Sociology of Religion, helped organize and served as the first chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Religion and is past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Ebaugh received two consecutive research grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts to study religion and the new immigrants in the United States. The results from the first grant that focused on the role of religious congregations in the incorporation of new immigrants is described in Religion and the New Immigrants: Adaptations and Continuities in New Immigrant Congrations (AltaMira Press, 2000). The second book from the project, Religion Across Borders: Transnational Religious Networks (AltaMira Press,s 2002) is an analysis of the impact of religious ties among immigrants in the United States and family/friends in their home countries.

With a major grant from the Lilly Endowment, Ebaugh studied inter-faith coalitions and their provision of social services. In addition to a national survey of these coalitions, she and her research team conducted fieldwork in 10-12 coalitions across the country, with focus upon the interrelationships between coalitions and the religious congregations with which they partner in their joint effort to provide social services to the needy. She routinely teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Sociology of Religion and the study of World Religions.

Sponsored by: Institute of Interfaith Dialog Austin Branch and Center for Middle Eastern Studies

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