Fethullah Gülen Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations
Australian Catholic University (ACU) appointed Dr Ismail Albayrak as its inaugural Fethullah Gülen Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations in November 2007.
The Chair is based at the University's Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's).
The Fethullah Gülen Chair has been founded with full recognition of the plurality and diversity of Islam itself. The Chair aims to provide academic leadership in learning and teaching, and research and scholarship, as well as in the critical examination of current trends in the study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic relations.
The Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations also:
conducts leading-edge and internationally competitive research
assists in developing programs in inter-religious dialogue
promotes mutual understanding and good relations between Muslims and Catholics both in Australia and overseas.
The Chair is named in honour of Fethullah Gülen:
a Turkish-born scholar, educator, spiritual and social leader, and renowned advocate for inter-religious dialogue and peace
interpreter of Qur’anic teaching enabling Muslims to live their faith in modern situations and make a contribution to the transformation of society
author of more than 60 books (many of which have been translated into English).
Gülen is especially noted in Catholic circles for his private audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1998. This marked an important step forward in Muslim-Catholic relations.