12 Pages

Introduction: New Centres, New Stories

This chapter introduces the conceptual building blocks of a sociological theory of postsecular society. It has been suggested that the centre-periphery model, developed by Edward Shils originally in the 1960's, is a key paradigm for understanding the history of modern Turkey. The chapter explores the reconstruction of the centre-periphery relationships after 1950, and after the failed experiment of a multi-party system during the Atatrks time, followed a different path, anything but linear. The centre-periphery model offers a general and comprehensive, symbolic morphological approach to any society, including contemporary Western societies, their complexity notwithstanding. The National View parties represented an effort to re-establish Islam and Islamic values at the centre of national life, overcoming the Kemalist project of a Western-like modernity, but combining a religiously inspired communitarian life with science, progress and economic welfare. Finally, Western culture was criticized because of its materialism and denial of religious values.