• Brian Silverstein


William Connolly, paraphrasing Gilles Deleuze, has suggested that what is difficult about political pluralism is that it is inevitably a cultural pluralism because of the fact that significant differences are not merely differences of opinion on an agreed topic but rather radical differences in culturally and affectively coded visceral reactions and priorities in light of which issues coalesce or pass unnoticed in the first place (2006). The lives of observant Muslims attempting to live in continuity with Islamic traditions and cultivating ethical projects through consciously defining the parameters for normative judgment in terms of authoritative accounts of practice from the past are one of many modalities of everyday life in Turkey. In this book, we have employed the concept of tradition as a framework for defining an ethical stance and looked at continuities and ruptures in Islamic traditions from the late empire to republic, paying particular attention to Islamic traditions’ relationships to modernity. Against this background, I argued that a productive way to conceptualize Islamic traditions and Muslim lives in Turkey is to see them as overlapping both of what Chakrabarty has called the analytical mode of the abstract universal and the hermeneutic mode of specificity and particularity (2000). This is the case, I argued, because of the Ottoman genealogy of modernity in Turkey; the absence of a colonial regime and continuities from the empire to the republic; the relative success of modernization welfare programs in Turkey during the twentieth century; and the resultant widespread legitimacy in the country of social-scientific conceptions of self and society.


European Union Political Society Liberal Model Political Liberalization Political Pluralism 
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© Brian Silverstein 2011

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  • Brian Silverstein

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