Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Louis Hoffman
  • Erica Palmer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_254

The term fundamentalism has been associated with a variety of meanings since its inception into the English language during the early twentieth century through Christianity. At the outset, it was intended to convey a belief in the need to return to the fundamentals of faith. Increasingly, fundamentalism has been associated with a narrow, rigid approach to religious belief across various world religions. Fundamentalism, once a Christian term, can now rightly be applied to Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, and other forms of fundamentalism. When used in popular culture today, it often is intended to have a pejorative connotation to it.

Fundamentalism as a Reaction to Modernism

Fundamentalism has often been understood as a response to modernity and the secularism that accompanied it. Several threats to religion accompanied modernity (Hoffman and Kurzenberger 2008). First, religion was displaced from its privileged position. In premodern times, the church and religious authority retained...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado School of Professional PsychologyUniversity of the RockiesColorado SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Center for GrowthColorado SpringsUSA