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The Fundamentalist Mindset

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This penetrating book sheds light on the psychology of fundamentalism with a particular focus on those who become extremists and fanatics What accounts for the violence that emerges among some fundamentalist groups The contributors to this book identify several factors a radical dualism in which all aspects of life are bluntly

characters ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Charles B. Strozier

Categorized as either good or evil; a destructive inclination to interpret authoritative texts laws and teachings in the most literal of terms; an extreme and totalized conversion experience; paranoid thinking; and an apocalyptic world view After examining each of these concepts in detail and showing the ways in which they lead Geometric Dimensioning And Tolerancing: Self Study Workbook paranoid thinking; and an apocalyptic world view After examining each of these concepts in detail and showing the ways in which they lead

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To violence among widely disparate groups these engrossing essays explore such areas as fundamentalism in the American experience and among jihadists and they illuminate aspects of the same psychology that contributed to such historical crises as the French Revolution the Nazi movement and post Partition Hindu religious practi

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    In the first two parts of The Fundamentalist Mindset Strozier et al set out to define said mindset and understand the motivations behind fundamentalist violence The book starts out sensibly enough with the various definitions for fundamentalism and the authors ultimately argue that dualistic thinking and paranoia are central to the fundamentalist mindsetWhile Strozier makes a strong argument for dualistic thinking Terman’s chapters wherein he argues that group psychology paranoia is a central aspect to the fundamentalist mindset are unconvincing Chapter Two overemphasizes the Freudian Jungian psycho analytical approach and focuses on research done during the 1920s and 40s Further there is a lack of recent psychological research particularly cognitive psychology Terman improves in the end of chapter two in his discussion of the studies of religion and violence particularly with his mention of Martha Crenshaw’s work on vengeance as a motivator and Jerrold Post’s three types of terrorist movements Whereas Terman focuses on paranoia as the defining characteristic Muenster and Lotto in chapter seven argue rather convincingly that humiliation is “the motivational basis of the fundamentalist mindset” Strozier 77Strozier and Boyd’s chapter on the nature of the apocalyptic is arguably the best of the first two parts of the work examining the origins of apocalyptic thinking it’s connections to religion and millenialism Strozier and Boyd explore not only the psychology of apocalyptic thinking but also place it in its proper historic context with examples from history Their argument that nuclear weapons changed the nature of violent death for humanity and apocalypticism is well made and despite being short is expounded upon in chapter sixChapter five by Terman makes an interesting point regarding the uniueness of Christian fundamentalism that it is rife with paranoia and apocalypticism but that is generally lacking in destructive or violent ualities Terman argues that this may be due to the “culture of hope and optimism” and lack of humiliation however that is unconvincing and it seems likely that this is due to their greater economic prosperity; those who are not suffering as much seem less likely to advocate for violence whilst simultaneously wishing for the apocalypse see pg 55In Chapter six Strozier again focuses on the paranoia aspect of apocalypticism although his example of Harriet’s paranoia does not seem to be a good example illustrating the paranoia of fundamentalists in general and is rather an exaggerated example; not all fundamentalists are paranoid to Harriet’s extreme Finally Strozier makes a poignant argument that nuclear weapons have been embraced by fundamentalists “as a solution to death anxiety” While I disagree with his assessment that “nuclear weapons represent the religion of our age” as opposed to the notion of ‘progress’; see arguments made by john Michael Greer it is important to ask what we can do to further safeguard nuclear weapons from fundamentalistsIn the latter half of The Fundamentalist Mindset Strozier et al examine fundamentalism in American Christianity and throughout late modern history beginning with the French Revolution and ending with the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India in the latter half of the twentieth centuryIn Chapter 9 Jones examines violence in apocalyptic Christianity specifically within the context of the Left Behind series These print and digital media highlight the shame and humiliation themes found throughout fundamentalism and Jones makes some convincing arguments for the connection between violent media and violent behaviour and how such groups use Christian scripture to justify killings and in viewing disasters as acts of the Christian god Strozier follows Jones with an analysis of Revelations and highlights just how the apocalypse laid out in Revelations shall inevitably lead to the rebirth and founding of a new kingdom of god Revelations Chapter 19 22 One troubling note however is Revelations’ obsession with escalating violence particularly with disregard for the earth; a vital point to bring up since the rise of Christian Dominion theology which might have deserved some mention One of the aspects of Revelations Strozier points out is that of revenge and the writer of Revelations would have been influenced by early Christian persecutions by the dominant Roman polytheists and much like Daesh awaiting the final battle against the ‘Romans’ at Dabi Revelations may represent an apocalyptic wish to see revenge against the Roman empire uinby in Chapter 11 examines the shifts in apocalyptic belief in Christian society today and argues that apocalyptic values have been diluted and he argues that the current trend shows a growing of liberalism The argument however is unconvincing and it seems than likely that fundamentalism in America will increase as society becomes ever polarised and the fundamentalists ‘double down’ on their ideology against outside pressurePart IV which examines the Global and historical contexts of fundamentalism is a mixed bag Khosrokhavar starts off with a strong chapter arguing that victimization and humiliation a theme throughout this book play a pivotal role in shaping the psychology of jihadists Redles following chapter on Nazi Millennialism starts off uite strong and poses some fairly convincing arguments for why many Germans ‘converted’ to Nazism His argument as it relates to the Holocaust however is not as strong and it seems that he argues uite strongly for the intentionalist school see Dawidowicz etc and places too much importance on psychology as a motivation behind the mass killings ignoring recent approaches to understanding Holocaust and Nazi ideology see functionalism; Ian Kershaw Jordan’s chapter on the French Revolution while excellent does not seem to fit well in the context of this anthology and struggles to link the early heady days of the Republic to a fundamentalist mindset McLane’s chapter on Hindu fundamentalism finishes off the book strong and makes a convincing argument that the rise of such fundamentalism suggests an escalation of violence in the region

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