Characteristics of fundamentalism

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  • Characteristics of Fundamentalism
    • An Authoritative Sacred Text
      • For Christian fundamentalists every word of the bible is literally true
        • Truths are valid for all eternity & contains answers to all life's important questions
        • The text is without error & not open to questioning
      • However, Aldridge (2013)  criticises
        • No text speaks for itself; it has to be interpreted so what fundamentalists hold to be true is not the text but their interpretation of its meaning
        • They ignore other interpretations
    • An 'us & them' mentality
      • Fundamentalists separate themselves from the rest of the world & refuse to compromise with it
      • Davie (2013) puts it, they seek to establish islands of certainty against what they see as social & cultural chaos
    • Aggressive Reaction
      • Fundamentalists movements aim to draw attention to the threat of their beliefs & values
        • Reactions are therefore aggressive & intended to shock, intimidate or cause harm
      • Authoritative leaders who interpret scared texts are important in giving direction to the reactions
    • Use of Modern Technology
      • Fundamentalists oppose modern culture as they see it as corrupted by secularism, liberalism, etc
      • However they are keen to use modern technology to achieve their aims
    • Patriarchy
      • Hawley (1994) notes fundamentalists favour a world in which control over women's sexuality, reproductive powers & their social & economic roles, is fixed for all time by divine decree
    • Prophecy
      • Christian fundamentalists proclaim the relevance of biblical prophecies to contemporary events
        • Believe that the 'last days' will soon be upon us
    • Conspiracy Theories
      • Fundamentalists are often attracted to conspiracy theories
      • Idea that powerful, hidden, evil forces & organisations are in control of human destiny

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