August 12, 2015

Georgetown University in Qatar professor authors book on interfaith dialogue, Hizmet Movement

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) professor Father Thomas Michel has written a new book titled “Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society: Contributions of the Hizmet Movement at a Time of Global Tensions.”

The book explores how Fethullah Gulen and his movement are one of the voices speaking most vocally in favour of a world community, where different faiths and nations can come together at one table to solve the multitude of problems facing today’s world.

Investigating the spiritual roots of Gulen and the Hizmet Movement, as well as drawing parallels between his own work as a Catholic priest, professor Michel shows how Hizmet has helped build a blueprint for intercultural communication at a time when too many voices are trying to stoke the fires of discord. Through education, dialogue, and a respect for basic human dignity, professor Michel finds a foundation in Gulen’s faith and Hizmet’s service upon which a healthy, diverse society can be built.

Fethullah Gülen and his movement have also been active in the area of peacemaking and his interreligious activities have gone beyond Muslim-Christian relations to include meetings with Jewish leaders at the national and international level.

GU-Q dean Dr Gerd Nonneman noted: “This book, on a subject of particular relevance in today’s climate of global uncertainty regional turmoil, and regarding a movement both interesting and controversial that cuts across international borders, is the latest example of the sort of in-depth research our scholars undertake, in keeping with the University’s reputation as a centre of excellence for the study of global affairs.”

Professor Michel who has been teaching at GU-Q for a number of years, received his Ph.D in Islamic theology from the University of Chicago. Before taking up his role in Qatar, professor Michel was the Director of the Islamic Office of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue for 13 years.

Published on Gulf Times, 10 August 2015, Monday