Anthropology Of Fundamentalism

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The Anthropology of Fundamentalism Fundamentalism from an anthropological perspective is interpreted quite differently than fundamentalism from the historical perspective. First and foremost, there is no argument about whether or not fundamentalism describes movements outside of the Protestant movement in the United States. Anthropologists interpret fundamentalism as one of many human reactions to modern society. For the fervently religious, fundamentalism is an attempt to reunite the morals and teachings of a religion with both private and public life within society.
The main questions anthropologists focus on when studying fundamentalism and its origins are how and why fundamentalism was invented, what defines it as a movement, who practices
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Some might argue that fundamentalism is a form of “salvage anthropology” and that fundamentalists are trying to “collect what was available before it was gone” (Eller, 149) through the reintegration of religious practices into society and specifically politics. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the state of Israel, and Salafism can all be interpreted as “salvage anthropologies” as well as fundamentalist movements. ISIS is a direct response to western occupation in the Middle East and a desire to reinstate an Islamic caliphate as the governing body for the entire Islamic world. The state of Israel was founded not only out of the fundamentalist Zionist movement, but also out of a global consciousness for the atrocities that occurred through the holocaust to the Jewish religion and the Hebrew culture. The creation of Israel not only fulfilled Zionists desires for a Jewish state, but it also gave Israel permission from a large majority of the world to preserve their culture through “salvage anthropology”. Salafism is one of the oldest forms of fundamentalism and their main focus is to “salvage” the religion …show more content…
The ability to explore a topic like fundamentalism through multiple paradigms creates a more holistic understanding of the ideologies and social elements that lead to the conception of the movement. Fundamentalism is an important religious movement to understand because it directly affects not only local politics within the United States through the Christian Coalition, but also domestic politics in the battle against ISIS and the American support of the state of Israel. In the end, fundamentalism is not a uniquely modern reaction to change within society. Religious movements with political aspirations have been around for millennia; however, globalization has led to our interconnectedness as humanity and forever changed society by putting right-wing extremist movements that might other wise go unnoticed, on the world

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