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Defenders of God: The fundamentalist revolt against the modern age

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Defenders of God: The fundamentalist revolt against the modern age.pdf | Language: English

The first comparative study of fundamentalism in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.--Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In Lawrence's assessment, fundamentalists are "the righteous remnant turned vanguard," last-ditch defenders of God, fighting what they perceive to be dangerous modernist values of personal autonomy and relativism. Fundamentalism, asserts this Duke University historian, is a form of ideology rather than a theology, and as such, it is a multicultural and "cross-creedal" outlook common to certain American Protestants, Muslims and right-wing, "quasi-Hasidic" Israeli parties such as Gush Emunim. In the first half of this bold, original study, Lawrence lays the philosophical and historical groundwork for his analysis by discussing Eurocentrism, nationalism and the marginalization of religion. The second half consists of case studies drawn from the three major monotheistic religions. He predicts that, in the long run, fundamentalism will not be able to control public discourse or activity in any major nation-state. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • HarperSanFrancisco (1992)
  • English
  • 3
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By Jeff Thomas on March 6, 2014

    I love thee insight and the discussion; I just wish some academic would learn how to translate significant research into accessible narrative. I get this because it interests me, but it could be so much more useful without all the academic lingo that inevitably keeps it locked away in ivory towers.

  • By Roman Nies on March 21, 2009

    In this book fundamentalism is defined as a confirmation of religious power claim being totally and absolute, while no critics nor weakening of authority is permitted. Fundamentalism is characterized as the collective demand to declare certain regulations of belief and ethnic commandments as common valid and binding. Now what is the great mistake in that? First of all fundamentalists ignore the free will of man that can only be subdued for misuse. There is the hubris of making absolute what can only be relative. For theists even worse it is apparent that fundamentalism rides on the assumption that placing oneself on the throne of God who alone can claim anything fundamental should be the the inherited right. In that fundamentalism means the opposite of being one with God and his want. It is nothing more than an usurpation that leads to a deep fall.In the Christian belief it is made clear that all human endeavour is nothing more than a piece work, far away from perfection. Fundamentalism is one extreme of offending this belief, the other being total anarchy or atheistic cult to put man and his work in the centre of all that counts and the only righteous means to salvation.The main housemarks that are apparent in fundamentalism are:1. mistrust logic, reason, research and knowledge of others2. stress the contrast to the moral enemies3. absolute, not negotiable demands about cultural, traditional and accepted rules and regulations4. creation of an own, intern vocabulary and house-own symbols and codes, who only the inaugurated and "true" believers can understand completely5. constant and incessant endeavour to missionarize. Inside Christianity this often means that one tries to convince others of one`s own belief but not of the Christian belief expressed in the Bible. The belief to serve mother Mary is such a belief that is not found in the Bible or in Jesus` words how one should serve God.Jesus being not a fundamentalist himself but the fundament of the biblical belief in the Christ. In Mt 23,15 Jesus warned the people of his age: "You travel around half of the world only to win one disciple and when you have found him then you make him to a disciple of hell, double as bad as yourself."In the face of 9/11 its is clear what is meant here even to non-religious people. Fundamentalism creates and attracts extremists and creates them. Christian fundamentalists have often charismatic leaders whose words are like an own gospel for the followers with main differences to the gospels in the Bible. It should not been overseen that also atheists have their fundamentalists.They say that science or human reason must be all what directs the people. This is bold saying in face of the age of Hitler, Mao , Stalin who were all addicted to the power of human mind and science. For Christians it must be clear that fundamentalism of any colour is hostile to the Gospel of Christ, because it is not built on it. It is a wolf in a sheep skin inside Christianity.Fundamentalism is not a fertile ground for virtues like love or mercy, it has to strive for "lawfulness" and "truth" and the uncompromisingly fight for the own victory. It seeks the own glory not that of God. True Christianity is friendly to the truth, but it is also longsuffering and endless patient. Fundamentalism isn`t patient at all. It wants to spread its convictions and is ready to make war for it. It finds no necessity to defend itself because it is raised above questioning, it disesteems individuality and rights of others, often it has a disturbed relation to sexuality and the rights of women (Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism) and almost ever the opponents are bedevilled (Catholicism, Islam).If something goes wrong it is the mistake of the others. You can find fundamentalism everywhere, but the nature is everywhere the same. The most dangerous variety of fundamentalism is the fundamentalism which will not be realized as such, when it has infected the whole world, maybe it could be called the fundamentalism of the non-fundamentalists!


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