Transformative Love Amid Suffering: A Perspective from Hilmi Ziya Ülken (1901-1974)

Taraneh R. Wilkinson

In his iconic Ethics of Love, Ottoman-Turkish philosopher and scholar of religion Hilmi Ziya Ülken proposes that transformative love is both a response to the human condition of suffering and an intentional route to address the suffering and human isolation caused by human injustice and mutual alienation. Specifically, he proposes a humanizing love that transcends individual interests yet still affirms individual vitality and uniqueness. In this paper, I lay out his views on love and further show how they are informed by his commitment to his “monopluralism” or affirming the multiplicity in creation by affirming God’s unity.

About the Presenter

Taraneh R. Wilkinson received her doctorate in Religious Pluralism from Georgetown University, where she examined conversations across Christian and Muslim perspectives on interreligious dialogue and the comparative study of religion. She is author of Dialectical Encounters: Turkish Muslim Thought in Dialogue (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). From 2018-2019, she was an international post-doctoral fellow at FSCIRE in Bologna, Italy, where she pursued further research on attitudes regarding interreligious dialogue and comparative religion in the context of Turkish Islam. She is now pursuing her second doctorate in Philosophy of Science at the University of Cincinnati, with focus on Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Psychology. Her active research interests include philosophy of religion, world philosophy, applications of colonial critiques to informal science education, critical phenomenology, and eco-psychology. She is currently junior co-chair of the Schleiermacher Unit at the American Academy of Religion and serves in the office of the Philosophy of Science Association.