Fundamentalism, By Steve Bruce Essay

1672 Words Mar 8th, 2016 7 Pages
In his book Fundamentalism, Steve Bruce starts by admitting that religion is a “very rich diet” for most. Most people are not willing to put their entire lives into religious traditions and choose instead to practice religion with few rituals, helping fund their religious communities, and trying to work with what their religious leaders say is a moral, good life. After all, not everybody can be a monk or priest, as there have always needed to be people keeping the secular life functioning, tending the farms and running the local shops, so very early on there became a clear divide in spiritual labor. In the text, Bruce introduces a group that is eager to consume the “rich diet”, a group of people that he calls the “modern religions zealots”, the fundamentalists.

Fundamentalists are those who believe in strong religious ties to a religion that holds on to a lot of its own tradition and history. Through the first two chapters, Bruce lays out some of the main characteristics in fundamentalists for any religion, focusing primarily on Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. Bruce starts by explaining that fundamentalism consists of two major aspects, the communal (more islamic) and the individual (seen more in Western Christianity). The text lays out several of the different ways that the phrase was used throughout time. It has been used to describe anybody who was anti-modernist, whether through religious or secular ideals, along with protestant campaigns against…

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