Modernity, Social Change and Despair: A Nursian Perspective

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:25
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Ihsan ALTINTAS, Post Graduate Student, Turkey
The basic aim of this paper is to explore on the rising of despair and hopelessness in social life. Humanity continues to move forward in science and technology, but seems to have forgotten the fundamental principles of essential human values. People live to acquire more and consume more, but have forgotten the spiritual and moral needs of their human selves. Their homes have grown larger, but families have grown smaller and have even dispersed. Even though more people are rich and possess good welfare, many still suffer from mental illness and even sometimes commit suicide. Why? Is it because they do not have hope anymore?

At the beginning of the modernization of the societies some famous sociologists tried to find the problems which existed after industrial revolution. Karl Marx spoke about the problem of alienation as one of the major problems of humanity. Max Weber also talked about human conditions, as he believed that humans are enslaved by roles and regulations. Emile Durkheim maintained the problem of Anomy. It refers to the condition of humans becoming enslaved by depression and desire.

Today, religious faith and modernity are among the most powerful forces shaping the world. As is generally understood, from the beginning of human societies people have always been searching for happiness. This study will focus the role and place of belief, hope and optimism in Modern Capitalist Societies.

Said Nursi is one of the famous thinkers and theologian of Turkey, in his Damascus Sermon stressed the problem of the rising to life of despair and hopelessness in social life in the Muslim Society which is also relevant for today. He also suggested some solutions to this problem.  In paper I have elaborated Said Nursi’s social theology which can be considered to be a theology of reform.