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Fundamentalisms Comprehended (The Fundamentalism Project) [Paperback]

Martin E. Marty , R. Scott Appleby
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 2004 0226508889 978-0226508887
In this fifth volume of the Fundamentalism Project, Fundamentalisms Comprehended, the distinguished contributors return to and test the endeavor's beginning premise: that fundamentalisms in all faiths share certain "family resemblances." Several of the essays reconsider the project's original definition of fundamentalism as a reactive, absolutist, and comprehensive mode of anti-secular religious activism. The book concludes with a capstone statement by R. Scott Appleby, Emmanuel Sivan, and Gabriel Almond that builds upon the entire Fundamentalism Project. Identifying different categories of fundamentalist movements, and delineating four distinct patterns of fundamentalist behavior toward outsiders, this statement provides an explanatory framework for understanding and comparing fundamentalisms around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this fifth volume of the Fundamentalism Project, Fundamentalisms Comprehended, the distinguished contributors return to and test the endeavor's beginning premise: that fundamentalisms in all faiths share certain "family resemblances." Several of the essays reconsider the project's original definition of fundamentalism as a reactive, absolutist, and comprehensive mode of anti-secular religious activism. The book concludes with a capstone statement by R. Scott Appleby, Emmanuel Sivan, and Gabriel Almond that builds upon the entire Fundamentalism Project. Identifying different categories of fundamentalist movements, and delineating four distinct patterns of fundamentalist behavior toward outsiders, this statement provides an explanatory framework for understanding and comparing fundamentalisms around the world.

About the Author

Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby direct the Fundamentalism Project. Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, is the senior editor of Christian Century. His many books include the multivolume Modern American Religion, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Appleby, director of Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, is the author of Church and the Age Unite!: The Modernist Impulses in American Catholicism.

Product Details

  • Series: The Fundamentalism Project (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226508889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226508887
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentalisms Comprehended. July 26, 2001
Format:Hardcover
Finishing its work in five volumes rather than the projected six, The Fundamentalism Project concludes with a monument of scholarship, a survey and interpretation likely to remain the fullest and deepest consideration of the fundamentalist phenomenon for decades to come. The volume's star-studded cast (including Gabriel Almond, Wayne C. Booth, Ernest Gellner, S. N. Eisenstadt, and Emmanuel Sivan) has been put to work at what it does best-comparing and contrasting fundamentalism in the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and South Asian religious traditions. Chapters break ground in dealing with such topics as humor in fundamentalist circles (more prevalent than one might think) and a literary analysis of stories about finding true faith. Throughout this volume, as the project as a whole, the assumption reigns that "fundamentalisms" are a similar phenomenon across religions.
Fundamentalisms Comprehended contains too many theories to convey here; suffice to note two, from the introductory and concluding chapters. In the first, Sivan argues that the key allure of fundamentalist movements lies in their "enclave" nature, their offer of group identity and taking part in a social network. Therefore, those most attracted to fundamentalism are neither the blatantly oppressed nor the poor but rather the subordinated and the alienated-anyone from American suburbanite commuters stuck at midlevel in large corporations to dwellers of shantytowns in Tehran or Cairo. A trio of authors closes the study observing that fundamentalism has far better political prospects in authoritarian states than in democratic ones: if suppression by the former does not "root out these movements," the "temptations and challenges" of the latter force fundamentalists to huddle in their enclaves, where they pose little danger to the state.
Middle East Quarterly, June 1996
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than you may bargain for September 10, 2007
By calmly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read the first volume of this Fundamentalism Project, Fundamentalisms Observed (The Fundamentalism Project), and this volume. The three intermediate valus may go into more detail than any layperson would desire, as do each of these two volumes I read. The benefit is that the material covered, as in Parts One and Five of this volume, seems worth the book's price to me. Nevertheless, it would be helpful to me if someone associated with the Fundamentalism Project were to write one or more books targetted to lay people based on the findings of the project.

Little of this book directly addresses North American Protestant Fundamentalisms: much of the book is about the generalized Fundamentalism presented in Volume 1 or about specific worldwide forms found in Latin American Christianities, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhs and other religions.

Part One centers on the notion of an "enclave culture" and that theme helps in understanding material presented in the rest of the book. But organizing as an enclave, while it makes sense when the group is relatively small, loses cohesive power as the group grows large, which observation may explain some of the divisiveness that has been noted in popular fundamentalist group.

Part 5 presents 4 patterns based on how the religion interacts with the world: world conqueror, world transformer, world creator and world renouncer. Specfic examples are given of each.

Some other chapters cover "antifundamentalisms" (e.g.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both insightful and entertaining January 11, 2008
Format:Paperback
This is a great collection of thoughtful essays on the faces and roots of "fundamentalism", as it appears in village populists in Latin America, enthusiasts for the apocalypse in the USA, or well-educated Muslims. The contributors keep it both insightful and entertaining.

One observation stood out for me. Writing several years before the post 9/11 war on terror, Mark Juergensmeyer describes an emerging neo-liberal logic of "antifundamentalism":

"Assumption 1: There is a known syndrome of human behavior called fundamentalism, which is dogmatic, intolerant, and hostile to human rights. It is dangerous and infectious.

Assumption 2: Adherents of fundamentalism, known as fundamentalists, desire power in order to spread fundamentalism and destroy human rights.

Assumption 3: It is therefore excusable to use whatever means necessary, including the violation of human rights, to prevent fundamentalism from spreading, and to prevent fundamentalists from achieving positions of power." (p. 361)

-author of Correcting Jesus
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