Trudy Conway from Mount St. Mary University talks about Fethullah Gulen`s idea of education as promoting wisdom and the intellectual virtue of the mind in her recent book “Cross-cultural Dialogue on the Virtues”. According to Conway, the founding commitment to the virtue of hospitality continues to define the dialogical approach and ethos of Gulen-inspired schools. Hospitality also required a practice of related virtues. On a fundamental level, the hospitable openness of inquiry is rooted in the related virtue of humility since no one person, discipline or tradition is seen as having the full embodiment of truth. Humbly recognizing both our human and individual limitations and fallibility, inquirers are called to open themselves to ongoing inquiry and dialogue with the aim of furthering enlightenment. Inquirers actively engage the points of view of a range of persons, disciplines, perspectives and traditions, so that inquiry may be rigorously strengthened, broadened and deepened.
Fethullah Gulen claims that, “a sensible person is not one who claims infallibility and therefore is indifferent to others’ ideas. Rather a truly sensible person is one who corrects his or her errors and uses others’ ideas in acknowledgement of the fact that human beings are prone to error.
Dialogue rather than combative triumph must be at the center of education, for this educational focus will shape the possibility of civil discourse in society. According to Unal and Williams (2000), Fethullah Gulen`s emphasis on engaging persons with whom one does not agree and in ways that do not lead to conflict are as follows:
”Mature people never make a difference of idea and opinion a means of conflict. People, who do not think like you might be very sincere and beneficial, so do not oppose every idea that seems contradictory and do not scare them off. Seek ways to benefit from their opinions and ideas, and start up a dialogue with them.
People must learn to benefit from other people`s knowledge and views, for these can be beneficial to their own system, thought and world. Especially, they should always seek to benefit from the experiences of the experienced.”