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Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and BeyondHistorical and Contemporary Case Studies$
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Simon Stjernholm and Elisabeth Özdalga

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474467476

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474467476.001.0001

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Friday Sermons in a Secular State: Religious Institutionbuilding in Modern Turkey

Friday Sermons in a Secular State: Religious Institutionbuilding in Modern Turkey

(p.83) 5 Friday Sermons in a Secular State: Religious Institutionbuilding in Modern Turkey
Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond

Elisabeth Ozdalga

Edinburgh University Press

By virtue of its secularism (laicism), Turkey holds a unique place in the Muslim world concerning centralization and state control of religious life. Less secular-oriented Egypt and Jordan, have increasingly entered a similar path, and in that context Turkey offers a telling example of the dynamics involved in such processes. The chapter’s focus is on Diyanet, the institution charged with the implementation of religious streamlining, but it also addresses questions related to official Friday sermonizing, where central control has created its own dilemmas. What happens when very different mosque audiences are addressed with the same hutbe (Friday sermon)? What about the unifying impact on the national community of discourses produced by an increasingly powerful and distant religious agency? Such issues are discussed in the light of the tensions encountered, when religion and official homiletics are subordinated to the aims of a secularism-oriented Muslim nation-state.

Keywords:   central state control, Diyanet, hutbe (Friday sermon), mosque audiences, Muslim nation-state, religious institution-building, secularism (laicism), Turkey

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