The ISFC was established in 1979 by eleven writers and thinkers as charitable organization to perform the mission of organizing cultural and academic activities for the welfare of humanity, supporting those who are active in the field, nationally and internationally. In this line the foundation has organized, directly, indirectly or took part in several international symposiums and conferences on the life and thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, late Muslim thinker of Turkey.
International Conferences in Turkey / Abroad :
The ongoing symposiums organized by the Foundation reflect its international commitment to achieving its goals. It has organized numerous symposiums, bringing in global experts from diverse disciplines, nations and languages, as well as religions. Since the Foundation’s inaugural international symposium in 1991, many more symposiums have followed – 9 in Turkey, 16 in Indonesia, and 13 in Morocco. To date, more than 80 international symposiums have successfully taken place in more than 40 countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and India.
Some examples :
Knowledge, Faith, Morality and the Future of Humanity (2010): Scholars from around 40 different countries presented 120 papers on the main theme of: “The Role And Place Of Knowledge, Faith and Morality for a Better Future of Humanity: The Risale-i Nur Perspective”
The Role of Justice in Building a Better World (2007): A symposium on the understanding of justice in Islam from the perspective of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’s works organized in Istanbul with the participation of more than 150 intellectuals/scholars from 30 different countries.
International Graduate Conferences :
The Foundation recognizing the importance of young academics, have had organized annual Young Academicians Conferences, where Masters and PhD students on Bediüzzaman and the Risale-i Nur come together to discuss their research and exchange views. These young scholar participants have researched on ways to blend both religious and positive sciences.
Here are some examples :
Graduate Conference 2009: More than 30 students found the chance to gather with scholars from different areas and experts of the Risale-i Nur Studies. Scholars gave lectures on various topics such as: “The Methodology of Understanding the Risale-i Nur Philosophically”, “Transition from Ottoman to Republic”, “Theological Frame of Mind and the Method of the Qur’an: Comparative Approach” and ‘’Comparative Study of Old Said – New Said Period.”
Graduate Conference 2010: More than 50 students who are doing their Master and PhD on Said Nursi and the Risale-i Nur from various universities of the world met in Istanbul. The attendees had a chance to meet and interact with each other and share their academic studies during the two days of intensive program. They also had an opportunity to visit the touristic and historical sites of Istanbul and discovered more about Turkey.
Graduate Conference 2011: Over 70 graduate students in the field of Nursi Studies participated at the conference, June 18-19, 2011. Scholars and students of different countries and culture gathered from countries such as Malaysia, Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sudan, Indonesia, India, Japan, Romania, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, and Jordan. Major scholars in Nursi Studies lectured at the conference in order to offer academic guidance to students who are doing research in the field of Risale-i Nur studies.
Graduate Conference 2012: Over 80 graduate students in the field of Nursi Studies participated at the conference, in June 2012. In this conference students students from different countries presented their papers on Nursi Studies and some Nursi expert teachers gave lectures to the students in two languages, Arabic and English.
Graduate Conference 2013: English and Arabic
International Workshops in Turkey :
Theodicy and The Resurrection of The Dead in The Writings of Nursi (2006 ): The International Workshop under the title Resurrection of the Dead and Theodicy According to Risale-i Nur organized at Akgün Hotel in Istanbul, 19th to 20th November, 2006. The workshop included discussions and debates among the participants about the questions of theodicy and resurrection in the light of the Risale-i Nur.the papers presented and discussed in the meeting later compiled as a book
Theology and Society in the Thought of Said Nursi (2008): Theoretical and Methodological Reflections workshops: Two Internationally participated workshops took place in Istanbul. The first one was in English and took place 27-28th July 2008 and the second one was in Arabic took place 30-31st July 2008.Around 20 internationally wellknown scholars discussed the the subject
National Conferences in Turkey :
There is a big interest in Turkish academics to Nursi Studies. Foundation organized many conferences jointly with many national universities of Turkey.
Exhibitions / Museum :
Said Nursi’s eventful biography (1876-1960), from the Risale-i Nur and other writings, has now been made into an exhibition. The exhibition, which consisted of Barla Years, Kastamonu Years and Emirdağ Years, were presented in both English and Turkish to cater to both local and international visitors. From 2008 until now, IFSC organized more than 15 exhibitions in several cities of Turkey and two cities in Germany. These exhibitions are on the life and works of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (1876-1960), YEARS IN BARLA, KASTAMONU, EMİRDAĞ and FIRST SAID. His, century long life has passed either in exile or in prison. All his 6000 pages Qur’anic Commentary, THE RISALE-I NUR, were hand written under severe difficult conditions either in exile or imprisonment. The visitors find original hand written pieces of his works and other original materials, letters to his students and official documents regarding his mission for the time period of 1934-1960.
The Foundation also holds a small yet important thematic library, an archive of original Risale-i Nur manuscripts.
Guest House :
Guesthouse for local and international scholars of the Risale-i Nur. IFSC welcomes and receives international and national Nursi scholars at its guest house and hosts at its guest house.
Study Circles / Discussion Groups
Discussion groups are regular occurrences at the Foundation, organized in Turkish, English and Arabic.
Many study groups different parts of the world are visiting IFSC to get one or two weeks as well as one day special trainings on Nursi Studies.
One of the most important achievements of Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture is integrating the Risale-i Nur’s messages through the internet, establishing an online library for scholars. Bediüzzaman, in his 28th letter, had mentioned efforts on making the whole world heard with wireless handset devices. These websites constitute such efforts, serving an international audience in different language mediums such as Turkish, English, Arabic, Russian, and Indonesian.
Academic Journals :
In 2010, the Foundation started an Arabic-refereed journal named En-Nur. Encouraged by the reception of this first journal: www.nurmajalla.com
In 2016, the Foundation started a Turkish-English-ferereed journal named “Katre, International Human Studies Journal”. These journals follow the international academic quality standardsand indexed in different national and international indexes. All articles are open access and can be reached at the foundation’s web site.
Many of these works including a large section of the Risale-i Nur have been translated in different world languages such as Chinese, Serbian, Indonesian, Persian, Urdu, German, Russian, Spanish, and French.
Since its inception, the Foundation has sought to financially support talented local and international youth interested in the Risale-i Nur research. International academicians presenting in Risale-i Nur conferences as well as local scholars pursuing similar research work internationally have similarly been provided subsidies. IFSC supports students around the world and in Turkey in the field of social studies financially and also consulting services provided to those students doing MA and PhD in the fields of IFSC mission. Every year around 100 students get support from IFSC.
The papers presented at the international conferences later on edit and published by international well-known publishers such as SUNY, ASHGATE etc.:
- Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey The Case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Prof. Dr. Şerif Mardin, Suny Press, 1989.
- Anatolia Junction , Fred A. Reed, Talonbooks, 1999
- Islam at the Crossroads , Ibrahim M. Ebu Rabi, Suny Press, 2003
- Said Nursi’s Veiews on Muslim-Christian Understanding, Prof. Dr. Thomas Michel, Söz Publications, 2005
- Globalization Ethics and İslam , Ian Markham, Ibrahim Ozdemir, Ashgate Publishing, 2005
- Islam in Modern Turkey , Şükran Vahide, Suny Press, 2005
- Said Nursi – Makers of Islamic Civilization, Colin Turner , Hasan Horkuc, Oxford University Press, 2008
- Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-i Nur , Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi, Suny Press, 2008
- Theodicy and Justice in Modern Islamic Thought, The Case of Said Nursi, Prof. Dr. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi, Ashgate Publishing, 2009
- Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, A Model of Interfaith Dialogue, Ian Markham, Ashgate Publishing, 2010
- An Introduction to Said Nursi, Life, Thought and Writings , The Very Rev Ian Markham, Suendam Birinci, Ashgate Publishing, 2011
- The Qur’an Revealed, A Critical Analysis of Said Nursi’s Epistles of Light, Colin Turner, Gerlach Press, 2013.
- A Muslim Response to Evil: Said Nursi on the Theodicy, 2015, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Tubanur Yeşilhark Özkan, Ashgate Publishing, 2014.