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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Fethullah Gülen’s Teaching and Practice

Inheritance, Context, and Interactive Development

Palgrave Macmillan


  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Discusses the 'distinctive normativity' of the teaching and practice of Fethullah Gülen

  • Informed by interviews with Gülen, his close associates, and others in the Hizmet movement

  • Explores the development of Gülen's teaching and practice in its interaction with the Hizmet movement

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. Introduction

    • Paul Weller
    Pages 1-21Open Access
  3. Turkish Muslim Scholar, Preacher, and Activist

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 23-23
    2. Person, Places, and Development

      • Paul Weller
      Pages 25-57Open Access
  4. Islamic Rootedness, Taboo-Breaking, and Socio-religious Implications

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 59-59
    2. Biography, Context, and Substance in Interplay

      • Paul Weller
      Pages 61-113Open Access
    3. Islamic Spirituality and Social Processing

      • Paul Weller
      Pages 115-152Open Access
  5. Islamic Heroism, Hizmet Loss, and a Future Beyond Gülen?

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 153-153
    2. Learning from Loss?

      • Paul Weller
      Pages 155-188Open Access
    3. Inheritance, Methodology, Integrity, and Creativity

      • Paul Weller
      Pages 189-244Open Access
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 245-250

About this book

This is the first book of its kind about the Turkish Muslim scholar, Fethullah Gülen, since the July 2016 events in Turkey, the trauma experienced by Gülen, and the disruption to initiatives inspired by his teaching, known as Hizmet. Drawing on primary interviews with Gülen and Hizmet participants and a literature review, this Open Access book locates the clear origins of Gülen’s teaching in the Qur’an and Sunnah in dynamic engagement with their geographical, temporal and existential reception, translation, and onward communication. It argues that as Hizmet cannot be understood apart from Gülen and his teaching, Gülen and his teaching cannot be understood apart from Hizmet, while exploring the heritage of both. A more geographically focused case study is set out in author Paul Weller’s Hizmet in Transitions: European Developments of a Turkish Muslim-Inspired Movement, also published by Palgrave Macmillan (2022).


  • Gulen
  • Hizmet
  • Erdogan
  • Turkey
  • coup
  • Open Access


“Paul Weller delivers a knock-out punch to those who have slandered Gülen as a “terrorist.” He shows with creativity and panache how deeply rooted Gülen’s teaching has been in orthodox Islam, while dynamically breaking taboos to bridge sacred and secular contexts. This book is essential to understand Gülen, now a “wounded exile,” and the community inspired by his teaching and practice that continues to “learn by doing.” — Jon Pahl, Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor of the History of Christianity, United Lutheran Seminary, USA, and author of Fethullah Gülen: A Life of Hizmet: Why a Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World (2019) 

 “Lionized by sympathizers and vilified by political opponents, Fethullah Gülen’s vision of inclusivist interaction has inspired a modern, open, and service-oriented Islam that threatens those who favour control and conformity. Paul Weller’s empathetic engagement with one of Islam’s most influential figures is timely, deeply informative, and quietly inspirational.” — Douglas Pratt, Honorary Professor of Theological and Religious Studies, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and Adjunct Theology Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Theology and Religion, Regent’s Park College — University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    Paul Weller

About the author

Paul Weller is Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow in Religion and Society and UK Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford, UK, and an Associate Member of the University’s Faculty of Theology and Religion.   

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Fethullah Gülen’s Teaching and Practice

  • Book Subtitle: Inheritance, Context, and Interactive Development

  • Authors: Paul Weller

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-97362-9Published: 05 May 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-97365-0Published: 05 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-97363-6Published: 04 May 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXI, 250

  • Topics: Islamic Theology, Sociology of Religion, Politics and Religion, Sociology of Education, Religion

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)