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View Diary: Religious Fundamentalism: Street Prophets Coffee Hour (34 comments)

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  •  The problem with the word "Fundamentalism" (6+ / 0-)

    is that it describes a particular movement, which you allude to in the diary, but also fails to explain some contemporaneous (or nearly so) movements outside of evangelical Christianity like the reaction in the Roman Catholic and to some extent, Anglican church against something called Modernism. Essentially, this was a kind of second Counter-reformation, (a most apt term as it's biggest target was the 19th Century "Tuebingen School" of Lutheran/Protestant theology) and with the evangelical idea of "Fundamentalism", sought to extinguish the best of the Enlightenment as refers to (more progressive) Christian theological constructs, most importantly, Modernism's more questioning view on everything from Biblical miracles--especially the miracles of Jesus--to the historical accuracy of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

    In short, Fundamentalism and the Roman Catholic "war" on Modernism (as well as the defection from Anglicanism by the Tractarian/Oxford Movement of the future Cardinal Newman decades before) has been a reaction against liberal religion and theology which seeks to find deeper meaning in religious texts and dogmas more along the lines of the Enlightenment than the Counter-Reformation. These reactionaries have become the face of public Christianity in this country today: sadly, because there are many, many liberal Christians (and Jews and Muslims) in this country even in places like the South and Western Mid-West (like Kansas).

    It is my sincere belief as a serious student of Church History and Anglicanism in particular that the rise of mass public media has intensified the attention that reactionary Christians receive partly because of the potential to broadcast through radio and later television and partly because the evangelicals are a lot more "sexy" when it comes to journalistic  reportage.

    It is no accident that the homophobic evangelical Rick Warren's speech at the 09 Presidential Inauguration was broadcast on news coverage, and the invocation given by the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, a man who it can be argued is in Apostolic Succession (though Rome would disagree with this), was not.

    I often wonder what our public view towards religion would be in this country if its public face were Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians instead of often irregularly-ordained evangelical Mega-Church pastors.

    •  Correction for clarity: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anodnhajo, Ojibwa

      Cardinal Newman defected from the Oxford Movement, not the Oxford Movement from Anglicanism, though the argument has been made for that by the Low Church wing of the Anglican Communion. --cm

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