Entangled Bodies of Learning: Gender, Islam, and Secularism in the Modern Turkish Republic

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Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies

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Two striking educational trends with their roots in the early Turkish republic have fostered the unexpected emergence of Turkish state-sponsored female preachers. The social engineering of religious education and the coeducational principle of gender equality have facilitated an unprecedented feminization of religious higher education in Turkey and a related increase in professional opportunities for these female graduates. Employed by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, female preachers seek in turn to educate the public through regular sermons, lectures, and consultations in their assigned districts across the country. Located at the fraught intersection of religion, politics, gender, education, and secularism, Turkey's state-sponsored female preachers aptly illustrate the elaborate complexities of secular modernity.


The Ohio State University Mershon Center for International Security Studies


Islam, Gender