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This in-person book talk by Dr. Ori Z. Soltes was a discussion on “Between Thought & Action”, Fethullah Gulen`s intellectual biography of thoughts, words, and actions including interviews with Hizmet movement followers.

This volume has two goals. One is to explore the life and the thought of Fethullah Gulen and the important educational and peace-inducing activities in which he and those inspired by him have been engaged for several decades. The outcome of those efforts—of creating schools and providing diverse social and cultural services that bring people together people from diverse backgrounds—has been to provide the face of civic and civil Islam as an antidote to the uglier side of political Islam.

The second goal has been to make clear how the accusations against Mr. Gulen by the minions of Turkey`s President could hardly be more false: that what Gulen and the Hizmet (service) movement that he has inspired are ultimately about is improving the world and saving it from its uglier inclinations. A brief discussion of his life and thought has been supplemented by the voices of more than 70 interviews conducted over several years, with individuals intimate and more distant but all inspired to be part of the process of serving humanity.


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About the Author:

Ori Z. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across a range of disciplines, from art history and theology to philosophy and political history. He is the former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum and has curated more than 85 exhibitions there and in other venues across the country and overseas. He has authored or edited 25 books and several hundred articles and essays. Recent volumes include “Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source”; “Searching for Oneness: Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”; “Untangling the Web: Why the Middle East is a Mess and Always Has Been”; “Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art & Architecture”; and “God and the Goalposts: A Brief History of Religion, Sports, Politics, War, and Art”.

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