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The new edition of Steve Bruces "Fundamentalism" grapples with the combination of social strains and religious ideas that have produced an explosion of fundamentalist activity in the wake of 9/11. In a direct and punchy style, the new edition of his book investigates what lies behind the actions of Al-Qaeda, suicide bombings and the war against terror, and also gets to grips with the continuing rise of the Christian Right in the USA. It offers new insights into the Protestant fundamentalism of the American political right-wing, looking at the influence issues such as abortion, gay rights and intelligent design have had on US foreign policy and domestic politics. Bruces broad sociological analysis rejects the narrowly-conceived notion that fundamentalists are suffering from some kind of abnormal psychology, persuasively demonstrating fundamentalisms importance as a symptom of rapid social change.Social science has generally focused on the social circumstances that produce extremist movements and regarded their religious ideologies as window-dressing. This study takes the religious elements of fundamentalism seriously.
The topics tackled in the book include: Why are some religions more likely than others to produce fundamentalism?; Why do they differ in their willingness to use violence to pursue their goals?; and Does fundamentalism pose a serious challenge or sustainable alternative to the secular, liberal democracy of Western society? This thought-provoking and highly topical book will be essential reading for students of any discipline drawing on the sociology of religion. It will also appeal to those beyond the academic community who want to know what fundamentalism really means today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 19.05mm | 236g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745623654
  • 9780745623658

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Chapter One: The Nature of The Beast Chapter Two: Modernity: The Great Satan Chapter Three: Islamic Fundamentalism Chapter Four: Fundamentalism in the USA Chapter Five: Fundamentalism: Causes and Consequences
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Review quote

'Steve Bruce writes with a forthright clarity outlining the essential issues and background of Fundamentalism and Modernity in accessible form. He is indifferent to fashionable views and writes as he finds by reference to evidence. He is an international authority and his book is a major addition to the literature.' David Martin, London School of Economics 'Fundamentalism is informative, vigorously argued and thought-provoking, and it presents a powerful sociological perspective on a controversial phenomenon. Focusing on a comparison between Christianity and Islam, it offers a wealth of detail underpinned by subtle but clear theorizing. It is intellectually challenging and yet easy to follow.' Alan Aldridge, University of Nottingham '[A] fascinating and clear global survey ... [this] book represents, among other things, an eloquent rationale for trying to understand the fundamentalist, rather than simply declaring he is insane and evil and then bombing him.' The Guardian, 6th October 2001 'This is the first book in Polity's new series, Key Concepts. A participating scholar in the massive The Fundamentalism Project, Bruce has long observed and written about religious conservatism as a sociologist ... This slender volume brings together his primary insights into fundamentalism as a phenomenon emergent out of the throes of modernity ... A useful supplementary text in introductory courses either in sociology of religion or in conservative and fundamentalist religion in the modern world.' Religious Studies Review "There is...always the danger of over-estimating the fundamentalist threat and therefore, a more balanced appraisal is to be welcomed. This is the greatest virtue of Steve Bruce's short volume Fundamentalism that is written in a typically bold, engaging, and enthusiastic style." Journal of Contemporary Religion 'Steve Bruce has already established his authority as a leading sociologist ... and his reputation as a clear guide through fundamentalism and modernity deserves to be promoted through this book.' Religion and Theology Vol 9, Feb 2002 'A most useful book ... Steve Bruce is a sociologist of clarity.' Theology, March / April 2002 "Fundamentalism is one of the first titles in a new series from Polity Press called 'Key Concepts'. Polity is an excellent press with a fine reputation, and to that we add a hot topic, a fine scholar and clear prose." Robert A. Denemark, Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
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About Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce is Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of numerous books on religion and politics, the sociology of religion, and Northern Ireland.
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (5)
4 42% (8)
3 21% (4)
2 5% (1)
1 5% (1)
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