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Descripton:

The spiritual capacity of Islam is being called upon to address the challenges of both virulent secularism and religious fundamentalism. The Turkish theologian Bediuzaaman Said Nursi (1877-1960) initiated a spiritual reform movement that has millions of adherents and a strong institutional and educational system nurturing a spiritual revival that treasures the gifts of Islam and addresses the fears of the modern secular state. 

Professor Faris Kaya is an executive member of the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (IFSC) and a leading scholar of the work of Said Nursi. His research is focused on interfaith issues and he has organized international conferences and symposiums in Istanbul, in Muslim countries from Morocco to Indonesia, and in Europe.

Professor Said Ozervarli received his PhD in Islamic theology from Marmara University in Istanbul, did post-doctoral work at Harvard University and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. He teaches at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul and at Marmara University. He has published widely on the revitalization of Muslim theological thought.

Zeyneb Salim is a PhD candidate in the department of theology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She holds degrees in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and Oriental Studies and Law from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. Her work is focused on Christian-Muslim relations and women in the thought of Said Nursi.

Professor Thomas Michel, S.J., studied Arabic in Lebanon and Egypt and received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. He has served on the Asia Desk of the Vatican Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue and many other Roman Catholic bodies. He has taught in Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States, and Europe.

Mr. Riza Akcali is a retired minister of the Enviroment, Government of Turkey.