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12 September, 2003 5:45 AM

"The regressive appeal of the religious fundamentalisms has to be taken seriously at this time. After 11 September 2001, and the collapsing of the World Trade Center in New York, all of us should be concerned about the rising tide of fundamentalism, especially within the three monotheisms: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In the contemporary world, where so much is open and uncertain, where traditions have been shaken or overturned, where we stand almost naked before the spirit, there is a strong counter-revolutionary force: a desire for absolute certainty, religious security, and nostalgic traditionalism. Fundamentalisms offer us a parodic version of our need to turn back to the past, only here the turn back is a full blown regression, a deliberate and systematic retreat from the demands and revolutions of the modern period. This is not going back in order to move forward, but going back to escape the tensions and complexities of a different present.

Fundamentalism also supplies a distorted version of the past: its past is largely invented, a projection of regressive social values and anti-modern perspectives into an imagine former era."

David Tacey - The Spiritual Revolution: The emergence of contemporary spirituality



Good quote. It's an interesting book. Enjoy Paris. Hope the weather isn't as bad as when we were there a couple of Summers ago....

Paul » 12 September, 2003 9:19 AM

Yeah a quite good from Tacey who always has something interesting to say. But i think the blindspot is that he fails to see the fundamentalism of the contemporary worldview.

mark » 12 September, 2003 11:46 AM

good quote except i'm not sure what he means by fundamentalism. in some parts of the western world a firm belief in a literal jesus who walked on earth, healed the sick, taught the multitudes, died for sin, rose from the dead and is returning again is evidence of being a fundy.

in that case i'm guilty -but then his quote doesn't fit. I want to explore an ancient-future faith that learns from the past modern perspectives but moves on to what is ahead. Not so much anti-modern but seeing the modern as a bit out of touch with reality.

I feel therefore I am. We are therefore I am. HE is therfore I am. I think.... but that's only a small part of reality.

tomfehr » 12 September, 2003 12:19 PM

Another really good book on fundamentalism you may be interested in is Karen Armstrong's The Battle for God. She discusses the term fundamentalism and its history in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: mainly as a response to modernity.

For her, fundamentalism is similar to Tacey's "distorted version of the past".

Maryam » 12 September, 2003 8:26 PM

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