Doctor Abdullah Cevdet’s Perception of Religion


Doctor Abdullah Cevdet, who lived in a period in which trends of western origin were spreading rapidly in the Ottoman territory, is among the individuals who have been frequently discussed because of the ideas he defended and the manner in which he expressed them. Even though he was born into a devout family, he turned towards materialism and translated many works to Turkish, aiming to spread his views. While he was spreading his ideas through translations, books, and articles, he accepted that political preferences are tools for philosophical issues, and that the whole is organized by philosophy. His perception of religion was formed around these ideas which he transmitted to his country. Cevdet’s views about religion varies in relation to changes in his inner world, and the circumstances of his period. His criticism seems to be directed towards the way in which religion is understood or the problems of practical religiosity, but its dose increases in some places and turns into total criticism of most basic religious concepts. In addition, he never drew back from benefiting from the content of Islam to advocate his own views using this. For this reason his attitude towards religion was questioned, and he was accused by various groups of being an irreligious materialist. In this paper the religious understanding of Abdullah Cevdet who influenced religious polices and public understanding of religion in the republican period of Turkey will be discussed.


Abdullah Cevdet Materialism Religion Westernization