Religious fundamentalism

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  • Religious fundamentalism
    • Giddens
      • Fundamentalism
        • Defend traditional beliefs in the literal truth of scriptures and faith-based answers.
        • Traditional dogmatism - traditional authority goes largely unquestioned and compulsory; submission to authority.
        • Avoid contact with those with different views.
        • Justifies beliefs with dogma; reliance on guardians of traditions.
        • Resistance to change; want a return of the basic of their faith.
      • Cosmopolitanism
        • Tolerant of other views and are open to new ideas and values.
        • Reflexivity - making conscious decisions and monitoring life to better it; pursit of personal meaning.
        • Make contct with those who are different to them.
        • Justifies their belief by referring to rational arguements and evidence; reliance on experts.
        • Modify their thinking in light of new information.
    • Responses to postmodernity
      • Bauman - fundamentalism as a response to living in postmodernity, which brings freedom of choice, uncertainity and risk, undermining old certainties.
      • Castells - two responses to posmodernity.
        • Resistant identity - defensive reaction of those who feel threatened and retreat to fundamentalist groups.
        • Project identity - those who are foward-looking and engage with social movements.
    • Criticisms
      • Beckford - the distinctions are too sharp which ignores hybrid movements.
      • Fixated on fundamentalism and ignores other developements e.g. how globalisation is affecting non- fundamentalist religions.
      • Giddens lumps all types of fundamentalism together ignoring the differences.
      • Gidden's 'defense reaction to modernity' ignores the act that reinventing tradition is also modern.
      • Haynes - shouldn't focus on the idea that Islamic fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation.
    • Monotheism & fundamentalism
      • Bruce - main cause of fundamentalism is the preception by religious traditionalists that globalisation threatens their beliefs and lifestyle.
      • Fundamentalism is being confined to monotheistic religions as they base God's will as revealed through a single authoritative sacred text - believed to contain the actual word of God.
      • Polytheistic religions lack a single all powered deity and authorative text and believe in more than one god - unlikely to produce fundamentalism.
      • Different fundamentalist movements have different origins.
        • West - a reaction to change taking place within society e.g. NCR is against diversity, gender inequality, etc. and they aim to reassert 'true' relgion and restore into the public sphere.
        • Third World - a reaction of changes being thrust on a society from outside e.g. 'Western' values are imposed by foreign capitalism/local elites, so they resistance to the state's attempts to reduce the social influence of religion.


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