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Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age (Studies in Comparative Religion) Paperback – October 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157003091X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570030918
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,105,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.
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Format: Paperback
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 others
2. stress the contrast to the moral enemies
3. absolute, not negotiable demands about cultural, traditional and accepted rules and regulations
4. creation of an own, intern vocabulary and house-own symbols and codes, who only the inaugurated and "true" believers can understand completely
5. constant and incessant endeavour to missionarize.
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