Fundamentalism : The Search For Meaning

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Since the end of the Cold War fundamentalism has been seen as the major threat to world peace and prosperity, a concern that was exacerbated by the events of 9/11, and the War Against Terrorism. But what does Fundamentalism really mean? This is the first book to expose the real nature and spread of both secular and religious fundamentalism worldwide, and to explore the many different forms this can take. Fundamentalism is a problematic term that eludes easy definitions. Since it was coined by American Protestant evangelicals in the 1920s, the word has expanded its meaning to include radical conservatives or ideological purists in many spheres of activity, not all of them religious. Modern applications of Fundamentalism include Islamist radicals in the Muslim world, the militant Israeli settlers who oppose them as well as Sikh, Hindu and even Buddhist nationalists who seek to justify their political agendas by reference to divine edicts or religious tradition. While questioning its usefulness as a term, Malise Ruthven argues that there are some 'family resemblances' between different fundamentalist movements, especially over concerns national identity and gender in a world dominated by the mass media and economic more

Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 132.1 x 198.1 x 22.9mm | 362.88g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0192840916
  • 9780192840912
  • 2,003,656

Table of contents

1. Family Resemblances; 2. The Shock of Pluralism; 3. The use and abuse of Scripture; 4. The use and abuse of technology; 5. Restoring the family; 6. Religious nationalism; 7. Beyond divinity; 8. Conclusionshow more

Review quote

Fundametalism is a thought-provoking book which deserves to be widely read as a starting point for considering this most important modern phenomenon. Journal of the Royal Antropological Society short, eloquent book THES careful analysis...provides a much-needed mental map...thought-provoking. Madeleine Bunting, The Guardianshow more

About Malise Ruthven

Malise Ruthven has taught at the University of Aberdeen, at the University of California, San Diego, and at Dartmouth College. He is the author of A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America, A Satanic Affair: Salman Rushdie and the Wrath of Islam, and Islam in the World. Now a full-time writer, he divides his life between London and more

Rating details

34 ratings
3.32 out of 5 stars
5 12% (4)
4 21% (7)
3 59% (20)
2 6% (2)
1 3% (1)
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