Understanding Fundamentalism: a question to Bill
Aug 02, 2006 05:40 PM
by pedro oliveira
Bill, greetings from Dreamtime.
As I see the world engulfed once more in the nightmare of war and its
ensuing atrocities and unceasing suffering, I feel theos-talk can
contribute to a saner perspective about it all by, for example,
inquiring into the following questions:
What is fundamentalism? Where is its source? What nourishes it? How
does it maintain its grip on the human mind and heart? Can it ever end?
I am not referring here specifically to 'theosophical' fundamentalism
only, but fundametalism in itself. In a very enlightening interview
in 'Parabola' (Winter 2005), Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the
most distinguished Islamic scholars in the world today, suggests that
the phenomeon of fundamentalism is basically a reaction to modernism
as an ideology. In other words, the modern mind with its emphasis on
intellect and reason, has tended to treat religion as a 'has been', as
a mere romantic-emotional exercise. Therefore, those belonging to
traditional religious environments reacted, sometimes violently, to
this perceived 'attack' of modernism on their religious traditions.
Professor Nasr also points out that the fundamentalistic response to
modernism did not come from the mystical dimension of those
traditions, but from the more theologically regimented of its members.
May we have your views on the above?
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