An Evaluation of the Kalam Theses in Turkey

The history of kalam is studied under three periods, namely the earlier period (mutaqaddimun), the later period (muta'akhkhirun) and the more recent (yeni). The earlier (mutaqaddimun) period refers to the systematization of the science of kalam. The later period (muta'akhkhirun), on the other hand, is when the field first matured and then entered a state of stagnation. It also includes the regression phase in terms of jam and tahqiq. As a result of the changing world order and recent formations, the scholars of kalam (Mutakallimūn) also entered a new period. In parallel to the transformation in the West, religion and anything deemed as religious also began to be questioned together with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Republic. On the other hand, mutakallimūn, who took on the responsibility of protecting religion, constantly expressed the view that studies of kalam had to be conducted in accordance with the data of the new age. This view was not implemented, and scholars soon fell into a dilemma between the ideals and reality, as had been the case in other fields of the Islamic sciences. More recent works on kalam, however, have instilled hope for the future of scholarship. In this context, this article is an effort at identifying and evaluating the most recent literature on kalam with specific reference to theses completed at universities ever since the establishment of the Turkish Republic.


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