UIC Institute for the Humanities

fellows lectures

2013-2014 Institute Fellows Lectures

All events take place from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

2013-2014 fellows 3 final recept

State Secularism, Contested Meanings of Religious Texts and Women Theologians  Add To Calendar

Sultan Tepe, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
  • Date(s): Tuesday, 4/22 3:00 PM to Tuesday, 4/22 5:00 PM
  • Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level, Stevenson Hall
  • Address: 701 South Morgan Street
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Email: huminst@uic.edu
  • Website: http://huminst.las.uic.edu/
  • Phone: 312-996-6354
Sultan Tepe, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
presents:

State Secularism, Contested Meanings of Religious Texts and Women Theologians

Despite the pivotal global role assigned to Turkey as the only secular Muslim democracy, its secularism, laicite, remains largely understudied. Existing literature either promotes Turkey as a model or criticizes its authoritarian secularism. Both approaches fail to question the state's main institution, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (DRA) which, in addition to other pursuits, reviews the authenticity of exegetical practices. Notwithstanding its popular and scholarly depictions Turkey's laicite is not simply a purely statutory restriction of religious expression, but is actually a deeply rooted religious affair. Secularism‘s institutional design has many internal contradictions while Islamic symbols ideas and metaphors are used by it to re-imagine political and market relations, endorsing a new political order. The exegetical positions, the inner workings of the DRA and the ways in which the state's power is exercised in the religious sector poses the question of how people can challenge the dominant exegeses and religious practices. What role, if any, do women play in these debates? More important, do different interpretations of the Quranic texts and different religious practices, especially those of woman theologians, have any political and social impact?
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