Abstract

This article discusses the meaning of the formulation of a new Turkish civic morality infused with Islam in contemporary Turkey through a content analysis of the 1995 and 2007–08 editions of Religious Culture and Morality course textbooks used in high school curricula. I argue that this course, while maintaining continuity with the republic’s diffusion of national religious morality through a revised version of Islam, referred to as “Kemalist Islam,” concretizes in its recent syllabus the consequences of the re-Islamization of the Turkish public sphere since the 1990s.

This article asks questions about the relationship between secularism, citizenship, and Islam in contemporary Turkey. I argue that the “privatized religious belief” that Kemalist secularism tried to propagate did not result in reinforcing individualism in Turkish society. Rather, it was thought to provide a basis for a civic morality reinforcing the holistic spirit of Turkish nationalism, which subordinates the individual to society. My research tries to figure out in what sense the content of Kemalist Islam, once the only legitimate religiosity taught in national education, changed with the modifications and whether Kemalist Islam loses its centrality in the definition of citizen identity, to the advantage of a new Islamic morality with the re-Islamization of the Turkish public sphere.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-226X
Print ISSN
1089-201X
Pages
pp. 381-397
Launched on MUSE
2009-12-06
Open Access
No
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