Religious Fundamentalism and Politics

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Fundamentalism is rooted in American Protestantism where conflicts arose because of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century movement known as the Modernist Controversy. It concerned the leaning of some Christians toward intellectual developments such as evolutionary biology, which challenged the Bible’s account of creation. Gradually, Protestant denominations separated into two camps, modernists or liberals and traditionalists or conservatives. Liberals contended that believers should adjust their beliefs according to scientific and scholarly findings, while conservatives maintained that believers should continue to view the Bible as unerring and the ultimate truth (Weinberg and Pedahzur, 2003). Generic fundamentalism is a worldwide religious disposition that wants to recover and institutionalize parts of the past that have been obscured by modernistic ideas. The secular state is the enemy because it’s more concerned with democratic reforms, education, and economic progress than spirituality. Generic fundamentalism is based on religious texts that are above criticism and adheres to social patterns that are rooted in them, including clearly defined roles for men and women, parents and children, and clergy and lay people. It also does not ascribe to the separation of church and state, and holds that religious “truths” are absolute and apply to everyone (Wacker, 2000). Historic fundamentalism refers to all aspects of generic fundamentalism and also the concerns of the religious community in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many of the concerns were based on vast changes to the culture, such as an awareness of world religions, the teaching of human evolution, and the increase ... ... middle of paper ... ... viewed a social and religious protest against perceived threats to “traditional” Christianity (Wacker, 2000). Works Cited Conservatism and the rise of Ronald Reagan. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2014, from Department of State website: http://countrystudies.us.united-states/history-136.htm Lambert, F. (2008). The rise of the "religious right". In Religion in American Politics (pp. 184-217). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Oslon, L. R. (2011). The essentiality of "culture" in the study of religion and politics. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(4), 639-653. Wacker, G. (2000). The rise of fundamentalism. Retrieved June 11, 2014, from http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/tkeyinfo/fundam.htm Weinberg, L., & Pedahzur, A. (2003). Religious fundamentalism and political extremism. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 4(3), 55-71.
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