James E. Bowley is a Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College. He received his Ph. D in Hebrew Studies from Hebrew Union College. He teaches courses in biblical studies, Abrahamic traditions, and religion and literature. He is the author of “Living Traditions of the Bible: Scripture in Jewish, Christian & Muslim Practice”.

“What I see in the Movement is a world education movement, and a movement that is trying to bring people together from lots of different places, intellectual places, religious places, and geographic places. Trying to bring them together in the world for the purpose of seeking peace. For the purpose of understanding each other. And for the purpose of education.”

“The idea that love is extremely important in Islam, and I don’t mean some flaky, easy kind of love, but a deep, spiritual kind of love. He has definitely promoted that kind of idea within Islam. And also the idea that people from all traditions should talk and understand and accept each other. Those three ideas, I think, are hugely important, not just in Islam, they’re hugely important in all religious traditions, and he has been the champion of those ideas in Islam, but also outside of Islam.”

“I think the most important thing about the Hizmet Movement and Gülen Movement is its openness and willingness to listen and talk and embrace other people. To bring people together, regardless of their differences, and try to understand and help each other, and, in fact, to engage in community-building with people who are very different.”