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Fundamentalism is a catch-all term for a broad family of approaches to religion. No country is immune: fundamentalism is found all over the world and although there are endless varieties, these various versions show remarkable similar characteristics. Among these characteristics are strong patriarchalism, strict exclusionism, “literal” truth of certain writings, acceptance of violence, and belief in the end of the world (mostly by fire although some favor ice).

Interestingly, fundamentalism is a relatively recent invention. Scholars assert that it is a broad response to modernism and it is often helped along when secular governments fail.

How it Works




Marty, M. and Appleby, S. (1991) Fundamentalisms Observed. Chicago: Chicago University Press.