Current Institutional Affiliation
Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, Development Office, Princeton University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2007
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, Princeton University
Sermons of the State: Religious Regulation and Islamic Sermons in Turkey

My dissertation will examine Islamic sermons in Turkey, where the avowedly secular government runs all public religious matters, from the training of imams to the management of more than 77,000 mosques. The state also produces the weekly sermons that are read nationwide during Friday prayers, with topics ranging from fasting to worship, from personal hygiene to human rights. My research aims to answer three main questions: (1) How does a country with a deeply entrenched secular ideology incorporate and propagate religion? (2) What expectations regarding citizenship, morality, and economic activity has the Turkish state communicated through its sermons, and how have these messages changed over time? (3) What factors determine whose interests get represented in the sermons? Drawing on textual analysis of sermons that span the history of the Turkish republic, interviews with state religious officials, and observations of sermon production committees, I aim to clarify the evolving relationship between religious and political spheres in modern Turkey.