Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Malise Ruthven

By Malise Ruthven

Fundamentalism is obvious because the significant chance to international peace this present day, a end most unlikely to disregard because the occasions in ny on September eleven, 2001. yet what does "fundamentalism" rather suggest?

Since it used to be coined through American Protestant evangelicals within the Nineteen Twenties, using the time period "fundamentalist" has increased to incorporate a various diversity of radical conservatives and ideological purists, no longer all non secular. Fundamentalism may well now suggest either militant Israeli settlers in addition to the Islamist radicals who oppose them, it will possibly suggest Christians, Hindus, animal liberationists, or even Buddhist nationalists. the following, center East specialist Malise Ruthven investigates fundamentalism's ancient, social, spiritual, political, and ideological roots, and tackles the polemic and stereotypes surrounding this advanced phenomena--one that eludes basic definition, but urgently has to be understood.

Reviews:

`Stimulating.' Roger Hardy, New Statesman

`Review from past variation 'Ruthven's cautious research of the phenomena ... offers a much-needed psychological map [from] one in all today's so much perceptive observers and historians of religion.'' Guardian

`'...powerful stuff ... this booklet is perceptive and important.'' Observer

`This is a steady, civilised e-book, written with a few type. I loved analyzing it.' Sasthi Brata, Spectator 10/04/2004

`The first transparent definition of this crucial but misused term.' Anoush Ehteshami, college of Durham

`... an incredible contribution to the present political and cultural debates approximately Islam and the West, spiritual extremism, and the altering id of supposedly secular societies.' R. Scott Appleby, college of Notre Dame

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Extra resources for Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Example text

From the 19th century, modern source criticism saw a consensus developing around the theme of multiple authorship. At present, there is hardly a biblical scholar in the world actively working on the problem who would claim that the Five Books of Moses were 42 written by Moses, or by any one person. Similar findings apply to other Old Testament books. Textual criticism has revealed in the New Testament a mosaic or patchwork of materials from which the canon containing the Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of Paul and Peter, and the Book of Revelation were constructed.

20 Hindu ‘fundamentalists’ demolished the Babri Masjid Mosque at Ayodhya, south-east of Delhi, in 1992, believing it to be the birthplace of the deity Rama (Lord Ram), setting off communal rioting that cost many thousands of lives (see Chapter 6). Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka have taken up arms against Tamil separatists, breaking with centuries of pacifism. For their part, the mostly secular Tamils, who developed the tactic of suicide bombing a decade before the Palestinians, sometimes require their vanguard squads to take an oath to the Hindu god Shiva.

Ironically, this is the decision which fundamentalists now use in order to argue that secular humanism qualifies as a religion, for example when values associated with it appear in school curricula. They argue mischievously that it should be curbed by the state in order to maintain the ‘wall of separation’. American fundamentalists are therefore constrained by the pluralistic religious culture in which they must operate. Rather than forming a religious party aimed at taking over the government, they lobby for power and influence within the Republican Party.

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