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Shari`a in the Secular State: Evolving Meanings of Islamic Jurisprudence in Turkey

This book contributes important insights related to Islamic jurisprudence and secularism in the Turkish context and regarding the role of language in contested legal and religious contexts.

Words in both law and religion can shape power relationships and are often highly disputed. Shari`a lies within the overlap of these two spheres and provides a unique subject for the study of meaning in that liminal space. This book contributes important insights related to Islamic jurisprudence and secularism in the Turkish context and regarding the role of language in contested legal and religious contexts.

The study begins by providing a historical framework for the ideas and terms covered, including concepts of religion in general, Shari`a in particular, and secularism in the Turkish state. It goes on to examine empirical research to describe and analyze contemporary Turkish understandings of religion and Shari`a. The author’s research indicates that there is often a disconnect between supporting the adoption of Shari`a and supporting the regulation of everyday behavior through civil codes. Thus, “Shari`a” seems to have taken on new meanings as groups have sought either to appropriate or criticize it. It is a quintessential example of fractured and contextual meaning at the center of both religious and legal traditions.

This book is essential reading for both academics and those interested in law, linguistics, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, or Near Eastern studies.

About the Author

Russell Powell is Professor of Law and Associate Provost for Global Engagement at Seattle University, USA. He has previously worked as a diplomat and holds degrees in Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, and Law. He has published widely on law, religion and secularism, and Islamic jurisprudence.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Glossary

Preface

Note on Transliteration, Names and Dates

 Introduction

Chapter 1 Religion in Context

Religion as the metaphysical or theological

Psychological definitions of religion

Religion as the social

Religion and politics: Boundaries and interactions

Religion and politics: The dynamic of competition

The role of secularism

Chapter 2 Historical Meanings of Shari`a

Classical Tradition and fiqh

The classical tradition of Ottoman jurisprudence

Range of modern approaches

Conclusion

Chapter 3 Landscapes of popular religion in Turkey

Sources of influence in Turkish popular religion

Education

Religious organizations

Religious leaders

The media

Conclusion

Chapter 4 Turkish secularism

Historiography

Social science considering law and religion in Turkey

Empirical studies considering preferences regarding Shari`a

Chapter 5 Descriptive Analysis of Data

Preference for Shari`a

Religion

What is Shari`a

Shari’a process

Shari`a rules

Methodological approaches to Shari`a

Analysis of significant correlations in survey data

Linear regression and crosstab analysis

Binary logistic regression model

Conclusion

Chapter 6 Analysis of Qualitative Interviews

University educated

High school educated

Primary school education or less

Reflections on the survey group of interviews

Hizmet/Gülen-affiliated participants

Chapter 7 Influences in the Formations of Views toward Shari`a

Ekrem

Dilek

Yusuf

Elif

Halil

Altan

Fatma

Hakan

Ahmet

Sevgi

Seda

Melek

Zeynep

Emir

Nergis

Hizmet/Gülen-Affiliated Participants

Observations

Conclusion

Bibliographic Information

Title: Shari`a in the Secular State: Evolving Meanings of Islamic Jurisprudence in Turkey

ٍAuthor: Russell Powell

Publisher: Routledge

Language: English

Length: 154 pages

ISBN: 9781472479549

Pub. Date: 2016-06-10

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