Abstract

This article aims to draw a theoretical framework to discuss the role of religion in utopia's appeal to transcendence in Turkish literature. This aim entails interrogating the intricate relation between utopia and religion in order to demonstrate how religious discourse functions as a transcendent organizing principle in Turkish utopian vision. The employment of religious discourse in utopia often generates problematic moments in which utopia attains a transcendent position and comes closest to its sibling term, dystopia. This article seeks to identify and describe this position of transcendence in Turkish utopia by resorting to Deleuzian distinction between the two types of utopia: “utopia of transcendence,” oriented toward authoritarianism, and “utopia of immanence,” oriented toward revolution. In so doing, it will engage with three early works from the Second Constitutional Period, Ruşeni Barkın's Müslümanların Gaye-i Hayâliyesi (1914), İsmail Gaspıralı's Darürrahat Müslümanları (1906), and Molla Davudzade's Rüyada Terakki ve Medeniyet-i İslamiyeyi Rü‘yet (1913).

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