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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?

Warm regards,



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