Wagner’s book explores the way that Gulen, in his extensive writings, lays out a vision for humanity to make the most of its time on earth as the end times near. Wagner shows how Gulen uses his deep understanding of both Islamic faith and our modern times to lay out a path for humans to co-exist and live peacefully during their brief lifetimes. In this way, not only can humanity create a better world “here and now,” fulfilling their destine as “viceregents on earth,” but they can best prepare for life in the hereafter. Instead of taking an apocalyptic view of the world, where religions and ideologies clash, Gulen believes that people of faith and good intentions can work together to make a more peaceful, prosperous world.
Inspired by great Sufi mystics like Rumi and Muhammad ibn Ali al-‘Arabi, Gulen’s message grows from a perspective of love and tolerance. Wagner shows how people can use Gulen’s world view to fulfill their most important task in the eyes of God – to foster their relationships with one another. Wagner especially explores Gulen’s hizmet movement. Hizmet, which is the Turkish word for service, spreads an educational message of love and service through schools in over 140 countries worldwide.
A comprehensive study of Gulen’s more spiritual side, Beginnings and Endings is crucial for anyone hoping to understand hizmet, and for anyone interested in peace and dialogue.