Call for Papers

"The Future of Risale-i Nur Studies in the West"
An Academic Conference on Said Nursi, His Writings, and His Continuing Legacy
Date: November 14-16, 2024
Place: John Carroll University (JCU), 1 John Carroll Boulevard, University Heights, Ohio 44118

Conference Background

This interfaith and theological conference is a joint initiative of Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at John Carroll University (JCU) and the Interdisciplinary Journal of Islamic Studies (IJIS) sponsored by Respect Graduate School (RGS).

The Chair is named after the prominent Muslim thinker from Turkey, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (d. 1960), whose motto, “Our heart is so full of love that there is no space for hatred to enter,” lies at the heart of IJIS’ vision. IJIS is an international double-blind peer-reviewed English-language journal of Islamic studies and social sciences that highlights critical points of intersection between religious traditions and sociocultural phenomena, theology and philosophy, religious diversity and unity. The conference aims to expand the scholarly study of Said Nursi’s thought, facilitate exchange of scholarly ideas, and offer excellent networking opportunities for those interested in the ideas of Said Nursi both in the USA and across the world. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of IJIS by July 1, 2025.

Call for Papers

We invite papers from faculty and advanced graduate students in the humanities and social sciences whose work engages the general conference topic. More specifically, we welcome papers that directly address the following topics:

1. "Nursi’s Theology of Non-violence"

Including topics such as Nursi's notion of spiritual or educational jihād, his notion of “positive action” (müsbet haraket), comparison(s) between Nursi and Gandhi, King, Mandela, etc.

2. "Nursi’s Grounded Spirituality as the Future of Interfaith Dialogue"

Including topics such as the relationship between religious inclusivism and religious pluralism, interfaith dialogue, and such pillars of Nursi’s thought as tawḥīd (the divine unity), al-asmā’ wa-l-ṣifāt al-ḥusnā ([the divine’s] superb names and attributes), fiṭrah ([primordial human] nature), fatrah (interregnum [between different prophets]), cooperation between Islam and other religions in the face of the modern trends of materialism, atheism, and secularism, etc.

3. "Developing the Tradition of Said Nursi: Critical and Reflexive Approaches"

Including topics such as Nursi’s method in theology and social activism, Nursi’s place in a wider stream of Islamic thought, re-interpreting and developing Nursi’s intellectual and spiritual legacy in the light of (post)modern challenges, Nursi’s theology as a possible foundation for dialogue between religious and non-religious people, etc.

All presentations will be limited to 20 minutes in length.

Paper Submission Details

The conference will be in-person and will take place at the premises of JCU starting on the evening of Thursday, November 14 and running until Saturday, November 16, 2024. Proposals of no more than 300 words and CVs should be sent no later than July 19, 2024, to the Conference Program Committee at info@risaleconference24.org.

Notification of Acceptance

Abstracts will be reviewed by the editorial Board and papers invited will be notified by 31 July 2024.

All abstracts will be evaluated by The Conference Program Committee according to following criteria: relevance of abstract to conference theme; broad implications based on research & overall findings for the study of Nursi; and the overall scholarly quality of the abstract.

Notification of acceptance or rejection will be provided by the last week of July 2024 after the Program Committee reviews all abstract submissions.

All those whose papers are accepted for presentation at the Conference will have their travel to and lodging expenses in Cleveland covered by the Conference sponsors. For more information please contact info@risaleconference24.org.

Schedule for Full Paper Submissions for the Conference Proceedings

Conference Proceedings

Full papers for Possible Inclusion in Conference Proceedings: Submit by December 31, 2024 (5,000– 13,000 words, excluding bibliography).

Review

Papers will be reviewed by the Editors and classed as such: Accepted – No Recommendations; Accepted – See Recommendations; Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations; Not Accepted by March 31, 2025.

Revision

Authors to take peer review into account and resubmit articles. The outcome of the review (including any recommendations for revisions or improvements) will be communicated to the authors by May 31, 2025.

Final Papers

Any final amendments to papers are to be submitted by June 30, 2025.

Conference Proceedings Paper Submission Guidelines

Full Papers for possible publication in the conference proceedings should be submitted in English only as MS Word documents via the paper submissions page on the conference website.

The first page of the manuscript should contain:

  1. The title
  2. The name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s)
  3. The address, telephone, and e-mail address of the corresponding author
  4. An abstract of up to 300 words
  5. A short bio for each author, up to 250 words
  6. Three to seven keywords

Manuscripts should be between 5,000 and 15,000 words, excluding the bibliography. Articles will be peer-reviewed by the members of the organizing committee and external expert reviewers.

Style Guide for Contributors

Papers should follow the APA7 style.