Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 May 2020
In Chapter 4, attention is paid to the professionalization of female preaching. This phenomenon is regulated by national competitions, standardized, and thus challenges the traditional female preachers belonging to religious communities. Women preachers (vaizeler) working for the Diyanet define themselves as theologians engaged in enlightening women about “true” religion (doğru din), far from any superstition and false beliefs. While performing their everyday activities, the vaizeler combine their role of civil servant withe one of religious scholar. Their “academic” interpretation of Islam is based on basic principles and thus easily shared by a larger audience, avoiding sectarian belonging. The feminization of the Diyanet through the emergence of a pious female bureaucrat working alongside male colleagues laid the groundwork for a blossoming of projects and publications directed at women and families.