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Reassessing women, religion and the Turkish secular state in the light of the professionalisation of female preachers (vaizeler) in Istanbul

Reassessing women, religion and the Turkish secular state in the light of the professionalisation... Since 2003 the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has increased the number of female preachers (vaizeler). These state appointed professional female preachers are engaged in illuminating women and providing them with an appropriate religious education. Within the frame of Turkish state’s regulation of religious affairs, this phenomenon is important since it calls into question both the state’s monopoly over religious officers and women’s access to the religious public realm. The article casts light on these issues by addressing the following questions: what does the Diyanet’s increase in female preachers reveal about the intertwined relationship between women, religion and the state in contemporary Turkey? Or, in other words, what does it reveal about the transformation of Turkey’s assertive secularism? Following year-long ethnographic observations of the vaizeler’s daily activities in three Istanbul districts (Bahçelievler, Üsküdar and Beşiktaş), this paper analyses the evolution of female religious engagement in Turkey. The concluding remarks highlight the trend of professionalisation and standardisation in the traditional activity of female preaching. The vaizeler’s sessions are also extremely telling of a broader and complex redefinition of Turkish secularism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Religion, State & Society: the Keston" Taylor & Francis

Reassessing women, religion and the Turkish secular state in the light of the professionalisation of female preachers (vaizeler) in Istanbul

"Religion, State & Society: the Keston" , Volume 44 (3): 18 – Jul 2, 2016

Reassessing women, religion and the Turkish secular state in the light of the professionalisation of female preachers (vaizeler) in Istanbul

"Religion, State & Society: the Keston" , Volume 44 (3): 18 – Jul 2, 2016

Abstract

Since 2003 the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has increased the number of female preachers (vaizeler). These state appointed professional female preachers are engaged in illuminating women and providing them with an appropriate religious education. Within the frame of Turkish state’s regulation of religious affairs, this phenomenon is important since it calls into question both the state’s monopoly over religious officers and women’s access to the religious public realm. The article casts light on these issues by addressing the following questions: what does the Diyanet’s increase in female preachers reveal about the intertwined relationship between women, religion and the state in contemporary Turkey? Or, in other words, what does it reveal about the transformation of Turkey’s assertive secularism? Following year-long ethnographic observations of the vaizeler’s daily activities in three Istanbul districts (Bahçelievler, Üsküdar and Beşiktaş), this paper analyses the evolution of female religious engagement in Turkey. The concluding remarks highlight the trend of professionalisation and standardisation in the traditional activity of female preaching. The vaizeler’s sessions are also extremely telling of a broader and complex redefinition of Turkish secularism.

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References (100)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1465-3974
eISSN
0963-7494
DOI
10.1080/09637494.2016.1204168
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since 2003 the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has increased the number of female preachers (vaizeler). These state appointed professional female preachers are engaged in illuminating women and providing them with an appropriate religious education. Within the frame of Turkish state’s regulation of religious affairs, this phenomenon is important since it calls into question both the state’s monopoly over religious officers and women’s access to the religious public realm. The article casts light on these issues by addressing the following questions: what does the Diyanet’s increase in female preachers reveal about the intertwined relationship between women, religion and the state in contemporary Turkey? Or, in other words, what does it reveal about the transformation of Turkey’s assertive secularism? Following year-long ethnographic observations of the vaizeler’s daily activities in three Istanbul districts (Bahçelievler, Üsküdar and Beşiktaş), this paper analyses the evolution of female religious engagement in Turkey. The concluding remarks highlight the trend of professionalisation and standardisation in the traditional activity of female preaching. The vaizeler’s sessions are also extremely telling of a broader and complex redefinition of Turkish secularism.

Journal

"Religion, State & Society: the Keston"Taylor & Francis

Published: Jul 2, 2016

Keywords: Turkey; Diyanet; female religious engagement

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