Islam As An Open Civilization
Date(s) - 09/16/2021
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
About this event
Will there be a single or multiple civilizations in the future? In other words, is the whole world going to be westernized in the future as the Western civilization gradually assimilates all other civilizations and dominates the whole world? If so, then we do not need to a normative framework to manage the relations among civilizations because they will disappear anyway. However, history tells us the opposite: There was no period in the history of human kind during which only one civilization dominated the whole globe and eliminated all other civilizations. In contrast, history demonstrates that there have always been attempts to make one civilization assimilate others but all these attempts failed. Consequently, humanity had always had multiple civilizations.
For the last three centuries Western civilization also aimed the same but concerned scholars like the late Huntington told us at the turn of the last century that other civilizations are still surviving and are not bound to fade in the future. The “mission to civilize the world,” plainly put to westernize it, has been suc-cessful only to a limited extent despite the extensive religious and secular missionary work to export western religious and secular culture. Religious missionaries tried to spread Western religion while secu-lar missionaries tried to spread secular Western science and ideologies.
If we come to accept that the world presently has and will always have multiple civilizations and diverse social groups, it becomes a duty for Muslims to contemplate about how to establish unity among Muslims while at the same time accommodating non-Muslims among themselves and interacting with them. Ac-knowledging the existence of the others is not sufficient; those who do so should go beyond and search for a way of peaceful coexistence, interaction and collaboration.
In response to these questions, Muslims developed a multiplex structure of thought on which they built what we can call Open Civilization. In this series of lectures, will try to introduce this concept with refer-ence Turkish experience.
Lecturer of the series: Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk
Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk currently serves as a professor of sociology at Ibn Haldun University. He was the founding president of Ibn Haldun University (IHU) in Istanbul (2017-2021). After graduating from School of Islamic Studies at Marmara University, he did his MA in Sociology at Istanbul University. He pursued his PhD in Sociology at Columbia University, New York. He served as a researcher at the Center for Islamic Studies (İSAM) in Istanbul, and the founding director of the Alliance of Civilizations Institute. He is head of the International Ibn Haldun Society. He published widely in English, Arabic and Turkish on a whole range of topics, including social theory and methods, civilization, modernisation, sociology of religion, networks of ḥadīth transmission, Malcolm X, Islam and human rights, modern Turkish thought, and Ibn Khaldūn. Among his books are in English, Narrative Social Structure: Hadith Transmission Network 610-1505, Malcolm X: The Struggle for Human Rights, and in Turkish; Open Civilization: Towards a Multi- Civilizational Society and World; Islam and Human Rights; Ibn Khaldun: Contemporary Readings; Malcolm X: Struggle for Human Rights, Social Memory: Hadith Transmission Network 610-1505. Şentürk’s works have been translated to Arabic, Japanese and Spanish.