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"Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi" by Ian. S Markham

Virginia Theological Seminary is proud to announce the publication of Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: A Model of Interfaith Dialogue(Ashgate, 2009), written by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of VTS.

Too often interfaith dialogue is generic and unfocused. Often it involves persons from each tradition coming together to criticize others in their own traditions. In Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Markham provides a model for interfaith dialogue that challenges very directly the 'dialogue industry.'

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1877–1960) was born at the end of the Ottoman Empire and lived through the emergence of an aggressive secular state. He had to think through, in remarkably creative ways, the challenge of faith within a secular environment, the relationship of faith and politics, and the implications and challenge of diversity and difference.

Markham examines the precise implications for the interfaith movement, exposing problems inherent with imposing the individualist assumptions of modern America into the conversation. Moving out from Islam, the book then demonstrates how the model of interfaith changes when Christians are in conversation with Hinduism in India. The book concludes with an appeal for a commitment to include and reach the 'conservatives' in the major religious traditions.

Ian S. Markham is dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including: A World Religions Reader, 4th edition, (2009), Liturgical Life Principles: How Episcopal Worship Can Lead to Healthy and Authentic Living (2009), Understanding Christian Doctrine, (2007), Islam, Globalization, and Ethics, with Ibraham Ozdemir, (2005), A Theology of Engagement (2004), September 11: Religious Perspectives and Consequences (2002), Theological Liberalism (2002), Encountering Religion (1998), and Truth and the Reality of God (1998).