Risale-i Nur Studies
The long-term objective of the Risale -i Nur Studies, an inter-departmental initiative, is the scholarly study and analysis of the thought and teachings of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, particularly as embodied by his magnum opus, the six-thousand page work of Koranic exegesis known as the Risale-i Nur.
The more immediate aim is to facilitate and encourage debate, research and the growth of Nursian studies in the UK and overseas.
Our aim is to support individual and collaborative research centred on five main research themes:
- the origins and evolution of Said Nursi's discourse and the development of of Nursian exegesis as embodied in the Risale-i Nur,
- the history of the Nur movement and its various sub-branches,
- the evolution of Sufi thought, particularly insofar as it pertains to the Risale, with particular reference to the teachings of Jalal al-din Rumi, Ibn al-Arabai, Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani, Imam Sirhindi and the like,
- the issue of 'religious externalism' and the notion of the esoteric and exoteric in Islam,
- contemporary Muslim thought in Turkey, with particular reference to the movements of Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan, Mehmed Zahid Kotku and Fethullah Gulen.
Attempts will be made to achieve this through four principal routes.
- By encouraging links and exchanges between scholars and institutions in the UK and Turkey, and in other countries where the study of Nursi and his teachings has an academic footing.
- By hosting seminars, workshops and conferences to bring together the latest research in the field, and to highlight and communicate to a wider audience the richness and diversity of Risale studies.
- By providing, through its links with external funding bodies, opportunities for aspiring scholar to pursue postgraduate research in the field of Risale studies, thus paving the way for the gradual emergence of a new generation of academics versed in various areas of the discipline.
It is hoped that Risale-i Nur Studies will:
- provide postgraduate research supervision
- run extramural and summer courses on the teachings of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
- organise conferences and seminars
- provide consultancy in relevant subject areas
host an annual international conference, at which guest speakers from the Turkish and wider Muslimworlds of learning will be able to meet with their Western colleagues in an atmosphere of good-will and co-operation to share the fruits of their research with others.
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