"In this important and challenging book, David Richards asks us to consider: how can fundamentalism in religion and law flourish in an advanced nation like the United States, given the deep consensus about the enduring values of democratic constitutionalism? Richards delves masterfully into the psychology of fundamentalism, diagnosing its irrationalities and showing how they endanger the existence of a free society. All citizens concerned about the erosion of democracy and the negative obstructionism to the progressive ideals of the Obama administration need to read this book." - Carol Gilligan, University Professor, New York University
"Fundamentalism in American Religion and Law presents a bold and intriguing psychological hypothesis, which may help to explain the continuing appeal of some weird and destructive ideas." - Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University
"[Richards is] to be congratulated for critiquing religious fundamentalism from within a religious perspective and offering alternative readings of religious tradition, rather than simply dissecting it from the outside. ... there is much to admire and chew over in this book." - Paul Horwitz, Concurring Opinions
This book argues that fundamentalism in both religion and law threatens democratic values and draws its appeal from a patriarchal psychology still alive in our personal and political lives and at threat from the constitutional developments since the 1960s. It discusses how Obama's resistance to originalism arises from his developmental history as a democratic, as opposed to patriarchal, man who resists the patriarchal demands on men and women that originalism enforces.