The Ambiguous Politics of Market Islam in Turkey and the World

292 pages

5 halftones, 2 figures

August, 2013

ISBN: 9780814770986



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Joshua D. Hendrick is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. He received his PhD and MA degrees in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his MA degree in cultural anthropology from Northern Arizona University.

All books by Joshua D. Hendrick

The "Hizmet" ("Service") Movement of Fethullah Gülen is Turkey’s most influential Islamic identity community. Widely praised throughout the early 2000s as a mild and moderate variation on Islamic political identity, the Gülen Movement has long been a topic of both adulation and conspiracy in Turkey. In Gülen, Joshua D. Hendrick suggests that the Gülen Movement should be given credit for playing a significant role in Turkey's rise to global prominence.
Hendrick draws on 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Turkey and the U.S. for his study. He argues that the movement’s growth and impact both inside and outside Turkey position both its leader and its followers as indicative of a "post political" turn in twenty-first century Islamic political identity in general, and as illustrative of Turkey’s political, economic, and cultural transformation in particular.


  • "In a groundbreaking study, Joshua Hendrick provides us with the first comprehensive and dispassionate analysis of the worldwide Gülen movement. Theoretically sophisticated and brimming with unprecedented empirical insight, this volume will be essential reading for students and researchers in contemporary Islamic Studies as well as those seeking to understand the changing nature of social movements under globalization."

    —Peter Mandaville, author of Global Political Islam

  • "Essential reading for anyone interested in current political, economic, and religious trends in modern Turkey. This work is by far the best study to date of one of the most important and interesting Islamic movements of our times. A fascinating book."

    —Nancy Gallagher, University of California Santa Barbara

  • "In this path-breaking ethnography of a modern Islamic movement that is educating millions of students across the globe, Hendrick brilliantly explains the strategies of the Gülen phenomena as an intersection of the spiritual and market-driven needs of his followers. This a definitive study of  how Muslim modernity is practiced among aspiring Muslim middle classes, an exceptional achievement because Hendrick avoids the twin pitfalls of demonization and cooption.  It will become a classic."

    —Paul M. Lubeck, Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies

  • "Dr. Hendrick's study is revealing and topical, and provides an objective, critical and balanced assessment of the Gülen movement.  Together with Berna Turam's earlier study of the same movement, it distinguishes itself as one of the very few studies of this topic that meets the strictures of nonpartisan academic scholarship." 

    —Elisabeth Ozdalga, Contemporary Islam

  • "Hendrick deserves to be commended for analyzing the Gülen movement in a comprehensive fashion.  The book, written in an engaging style, covers diverse issues, ranging from the movement's role in changing the balance of power in the Turkish media to its critics in the American charter school system.  This timely book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the Gülen movement."

    —Ahmet T. Kuru, Middle East Journal

  • "[T]here's...much to learn from this book about the enigmatic Gülen and his enigmatic movement."

    —William Armstrong, Hurriyet Daily News

  • "A helpful and detailed account of a movement that is defined, if such a thing is possible, by obfuscation"

    —Christopher de Bellaigue, The New York Review of Books

  • “In light of the political crisis Turkey has been going through in the past year, the publication of Hendrick’s Gülen could not be timelier.  This book examines one of the most controversial figures in the modern Turkish political history, Fethullah Gülen, and his cemaat (community); a well-organized network overseeing schools and educational institutions in more than 100 countries and controlling a global, multi-million dollar operation of ‘Islamic economy.’  Hendrick’s political ethnography provides an outstanding analysis.”


  • “As Joshua Hendrick reminds us in the introduction of his informative new book, in a 2008 online poll Fethullah Gülen was named the most influential public intellectual in the world, despite the fact that most people have never heard of him.  Of course, the victory might be the result of dedicated followers voting for him, yet his surprise appearance at the top of—or even on—the list calls for some more exploration of precisely what Gülen and his minions are up to and how a major movement emerged in Turkey and spread around the world.  This is precisely what Hendrick give us in the study. […] [A]nthropologists should be grateful to Hendrick for the valuable research and should extend these analyses with further studies of the GM and of other modern social movements, including ‘Islamic’ or ‘Islamist’ ones, to discover how they blend religion or other aspects of ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’ with modern capitalist and technological techniques and practices.” 

    Anthropology Review Database

  • "A valuable study of the Gülen movement, originating in Turkey but spanning the world, illustrates how it was born out of the social and political climate of modern Turkey but how it integrated Islam and neoliberal globalization to create an ambiguous empire of 'market Islam' including schools, media, and manufacturing."

    Anthropology Review Database

  • “Dr. Hendrick’s study is revealing and topical, and provides an objective, critical and balanced assessment of the Gülen movement… Based as it is on thorough information and colorful descriptions, it is an easy read and thus also speaks to a wider audience inside and outside of academia.”

    Contemporary Islam

  •  “Hendrick’s work is an important contribution to understanding the ongoing interactions between the contradictory dimensions of globalization and the presence and rise of Islamic movements.”


  • “This new book is a thoughtful and thorough examination of the formation and expansion of the Gülen movement. In presenting an original account of how this religious social movement was established, the author offers an insightful discussion Gülen’s origins and workings by focusing on its engagement with capitalism, science, technology, education, and secularism.”

    The Historian