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Religious Fundamentalism - Essay Example

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Religious fundamentalism is associated with conservative theological thought that defend biblical inerrancy and attacked the evils of the world. In this narrow sense, fundamentalism is a phenomenon barely a century old and associated with distinctly evangelical Protestant Christianity…
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Download file to see previous pages At the beginning of the 1920s (the first stage), Christian fundamentalism appeared as a reaction against the culture of modernity (Robert 1998). Thus, for its adherents, Fundamentalism's biblical literalism provides grounds for denying the validity of unfriendly scientific evidence found in geological data and the claims of the theory of evolution. The Fundamentalist movement obtained its name from a series of ten paperback volumes entitled The Fundamentals; A Testimony to the Truth published between 1910 and 1915 and privately financed by two businessmen brothers (Robert 1998). Scholars have since regarded the necessary existence of these volumes as a patently transparent rearguard attempt by conservative Christians to reassert truths and doctrines that they believed to be seriously endangered. In this narrow sense, fundamentalism is a phenomenon barely a century old and associated with distinctly evangelical Protestant Christianity (Dollar, 1973). In 1919, fundamentalists organized a conference and formed the Moody Bible Institute. The nest stage took place between 1920s-1940s. During this period of time, the Fundamentalist reading of the Bible supports patriarchal and traditional norms of sexual behavior and marriage patterns vis--vis modern social and legal permissiveness (Dollar, 1973). William Bryan was one of the most popular leaders of this movement in America. Fundamentalism's vesting of ultimate, absolute, and triumphal authority in written scripture and its strictures underwrites firm boundaries between the "saved" and the "unsaved" and, thereby, weakens socio-cultural flexibility and the type of empathy in human affairs that is deemed to be dysfunctional in modern, complex, diverse, industrialized societies. "The Christian Right that emerged with the formation of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority in 1979 was a response to the cultural transformations of the 1960s and 1970s" (Munson, 2002, p. 31). During 1940s-1970s, Christian fundamentalists fought against the Supreme Court divisions and racial questions. For instance, they fought against Brown v Board of Education (racial segregation in schools), Epperson v Arkansas (anti-evolution laws), Roe v Wade (abortion rights), etc. Christian fundamentalists identified themselves with right wing of the Republican Parties and aggressively opposed all other parties and their bills. The new stage began with Ronald Reagan presidency and was closely connected with religious and social 'crisis' in America (1980s-2000). The leaders of this movement were G. Falwell, T. Haye, H. Lindsey, P. Robertson. In contrast to previous stages, they politicized this movement criticizing the government and political system (Dollar, 1973). "Islamic fundamentalism generally attracts the young, the dispossessed, and the unemployed, who suffer the effects of marginalization and extreme poverty" (Marin-Guzman;, 2003, p. 63). The history of Islamic fundamentalism goes back to the middle of 18th century. Muhammad ibn abd al-Wahhab was the first reformer and founder of Wahhabism (1744). During the 19th century, Wahhabism became a political and social movement (Marin-Guzman, 2003). During the 19th century, this movement was directed against British rule and colonization in Africa and the Middle East. As a strong political force, Islamic fundamentalism reappeared in the 20th century and was closely connected with political changes and westernization of Asian societies. The new wave of Islamic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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