Faith and citizenship among the Nur community in Turkey : a study in Islamic socio-political imagination
Title: Faith and citizenship among the Nur community in Turkey : a study in Islamic socio-political imagination
Author: TEDESCO, Maria Concetta
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2015
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
Through an ethnographic study of sohbet meetings and patterns of civic and political engagement of the Nur community in Turkey, this thesis examines the processes through which Islamic socio-political imaginaries are constructed and subsequently turned into practice. The phrase ‘socio-political imaginary’ is used in the meaning given to it by Charles Taylor. According to the author, a social imaginary is the transformation of social theory into the profound normative notions and imagines that enable common people’s practice of society. Applying this analytical tool to the study of an Islamic community allows the researcher to fill in a gap of time and space existing in the literature about Islamic movements. In terms of time, it allows the researcher to focus the investigation on a little theorized step in the process of mobilization by religious actors that is, the cognitive elaboration of a socio-political project before mobilization around that project is organized. In terms of space, it grasps the intermediate level of cognition existing between the theological elaboration on politics and society promoted by religious scholars and the masses’ practical knowledge of the social realm constituted by a set of instinctive beliefs and judgments. Finally, the concept of social imaginary allows the researcher to analyse discourse and practice as mutually sustaining elements that together define a social actor’s function and position in society. Unravelling this dynamic interaction means going back and forth, both temporally and cognitively, between imagination and acts and recognizing that the discourse in itself can be influenced by the social space for which it provides a map.
Defence date: 10 June 2015; Examining Board: Prof. Olivier Roy, EUI/RSCAS (Supervisor); Prof. Armando Salvatore, McGill University (Co-Supervisor); Prof. Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute; Prof. Levent Yilmaz, Bilgi University.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess