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Just under a year ago on April 21, 2005 I attended a talk by R. Scott Appleby about "The Rise of Fundamentalism in the 20th Century". I recently ran across my notes from that talk and figured it was about time that I wrote them up. Since the talk isn't fresh in my head, my notes don't flow as well as I would like, but I think I've still managed to capture many of the core points.

Looking at the history, Martin Marty was one of the first to examine fundamentalism in religion. 1962-63 some see as the breakdown of America due to Roe vs. Wade.1987 was the introduction of creationism into text books. 1986-8 there was a general animus against religion. This spawned a reasoning about religion. Middle management and engineers are the primary people found in fundamentalism. Why: fact, oriented (not theory), rules/laws, literal agent of change, and repository of means to enhance.

Fundamentalists are not traditionalists, they are not restorationists, nor are they modernists. Focus on milestones: destroy those that were intoxicated by using technology. Seen as an alternative to secular habits. Claim to have a blueprint to advance society, that isn't secular. Willing to use technology to do God's will.

Examples include: In Islam a comic book, technology to destroy zionism (US lackey) Saudi Arabia. Zion movement using phone and fax for manipulating media to settlements. Billy Graham, Jim and Tammy Fae Baker are Christian examples. General view, fundamentalism is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Appleby talked about meeting with Turabi. Turabi wore a 3 piece suit. Claimed to know more Koran than a cleric. Said "I know how you think". Fulfill God's will, we are just getting started. Focus on epistemology. Using technology, science, and government to accomplish goals.

A Saudi Prince once said it is a compliment to call them Fundamentalists.

Appleby provided a framework to classify fundamentalists along 5 ideological and 3 organizational buckets. This to me was the key segment of the talk.

Reactive: Marginization of religion
Selective: Not traditionalists
Absolution / Infallible: The word of the religious text is all true
Dualism / Manikism: Battle, living in drama, cosmic warfare
Apocalyptism: Justify killings

Charismatic: Strong leader
Enclave to network: Reaching out to others in a similar plight
Distinctive dress or behavioral: Getting a place at a table

They work on the ignorant, those that don't know their faith. Treat God as a mystery. Religion teaches compassion. Trying to use fundamentalism as a wake-up call for the millions of Muslims sitting on the fence. In 1924 WWI was over, Islamic state was disbanded, world started becoming more secularized, and some groups started to feel emasculated.

There are inconsistencies in America about religion. Cited Ralph Reed as an example. "How many of you have prayed today? Not my business to ask?" The breakdown of religions in America. Focus on bible. 65-70m about 25% are Evangelical. 30% are Protestant. 25% are Catholic. Within Evangelicalism: equal breakdown between main Evangelical, Pentecostals, and Fundamentalists. The Pentecostals believe the Holy Spirit is active today. While the "mad Evangelicals"/Fundamentalists are focused on preserving the scripts.

Honeymooners: Can't put your arms around a memory. (Not sure what context this was in, but I love the imagery).

Many fundamentalist groups provide community, shared purpose, and a common cause. History, national narrative, and mystery are full of rogues, saints, and warriors. Talking about a time when theology was fought in the streets.

Today more than just fundamentalists are using religion for gain without caring about God. Both claim God is fighting on their side, when he really isn't fighting on either.