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Why is Religious Fundamentalism spreading so far as of 2004?

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Joe Levy Politics Homework Why is Religious Fundamentalism spreading so far as of 2004? Religion no longer plays a leading part in the lives of most of the inhabitants of the industrialized west. We can define religious fundamentalism by looking at Professor Scruton, who identifies two components to religion. The first is belief in spiritual, non corporeal beings who may have created the universe and the living beings which inhabit it, and have the power to intervene in the affairs of the world, for good or bad, and to hand out rewards or punishments to mortals after they die; these rewards or punishments may include being sent to a Heaven or Hell or whatever that particular faith's equivalent may be, or being reincarnated into this world with higher or lower status. The second is piety, which means belief that such beings are morally superior to mortals, have set out codes of conduct for humans to follow, and that one must abide by these ...read more.


Religious fundamentalism is very much seen as the creation of the modern world. Although typical fundamentalists reject technology, the ideology can be said to be 'evolving' as it has incorporated it as with the Taliban and www.taliban.com. Religious fundamentalism has seemed to arisen in societies suffering from a deep sense of crisis, particularly identity. The question is whether religious fundamentalism is destined to survive throughout the twenty-first century, or ultimately be viewed as a temporary phenomenon, linked to the conjunction of particular historical circumstances. The question of the future of fundamentalism raises two starkly different scenarios. The first questions the long-term viability of any religiously-based political creed in the modern world, and highlights the particular limitations of fundamentalism as a political project. According to this view, fundamentalist religion is essentially a symptom of the difficult adjustments that modernization brings about, but it is ultimately doomed because it is out of step with the principal thrust of the modernization process. ...read more.


The rival view holds that religious fundamentalism offers a glimpse of the 'postmodern' future. From this perspective, it is secularism and liberal culture that are in crisis. Their weakness, dramatically exposed by fundamentalism, is their failure to address deeper human needs and their inability to establish authoritative values that give social order a moral foundation. Far from the emerging global system fostering uniformity modeled on western liberal democracy, this view suggests that a more likely scenario is that the twentieth-century battle between capitalism and communism will give way to some form of clash of civilizations. Competing transnational power blocs will emerge, and religion is likely to provide them with a distinctive politico-cultural identity. Fundamentalism, in this version, is seen to have strengths rather than weaknesses. Religious fundamentalists have already demonstrated their adaptability by embracing the weapons and spirit of the modern world, and the very fact that they are not encumbered by tradition but travel 'fast and light' enables them to reinvent their creeds in response to the challenges of post modernity. ...read more.

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