Are norms and values in the Gülen Movement modified according to changes in circumstances?

Fethullah Gülen

No. Varying circumstances do not result in modifications to norms and values in the Gülen Movement. Its norms and values have held steady over time, so that the Gülen Movement has not suffered or changed as a result of crisis or conflict in society, nor in the face of other new developments, but instead has become stronger. This is different from political movements, in which self-interest and cost–benefit calculations do indeed generally lead to modification of norms.

The Gülen Movement has been able to respond to new developments, the requirements of the contemporary world, and its emergent realities. It has been able to defend or define the meaning of its action with respect to its constant norms and values. So far, no event has provoked any crisis in any area of normative regulation (a change of values) throughout the Movement. Analyzing a collective action such as the Gülen Movement through the lens of self-interest and cost–benefit calculations, or conflicts over allocation of goods in the political market, without referring to symbolic, normative and higher values and meaning, is a reductionist approach. This kind of reductionist approach can reveal little about the Gülen Movement. The altruism and personal dedication to valued causes which are visible in the Gülen Movement are real and cannot be reduced to self-interest.

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