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fundamentalism


            Over the last four months you can't listen to a news broadcast without hearing about Muslim fundamentalists. Here in the Bible belt there have been times in the past couple of decades when you couldn't turn on the television without seeing a Christian fundamentalist preaching away. Our nation has seen the rise of multiple fundamentalist "mega churches."".
             On my fiftieth birthday my brother gave me this book. Written by Karen Armstrong - a British ex nun, now a journalist and author, Oxford educated. It took me awhile to get around to starting it. Then I plodded through the first half of the book, which is largely historical. Very slowly. The second half is much more interesting. I really started reading quickly when Jim Spears called and asked me to teach.
             What is your notion of the meaning of fundamentalism? Generally? (Blocking, tackling, rebounding) As it applies to religion?.
             While she gives no strict definition, Ms. Armstrong implies that in the context of religion, fundamentalism is a reversion back to earlier, more basic beliefs.
             The book follows the rise of fundamentalism in the three great monotheistic faiths - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. She also calls these the three "confessional- faiths. We need to always remember the close relationship of these three religions. As Mike Smith so ably taught us, Muslims also trace their lineage to Abraham. Therefore they share the same holy places as Jews and Christians, much of the same holy scripture, the same Bible characters. Remember also that Islam is by far the newest of these three faiths - dates from approximately 700 A.D. Remember also that Muhammad was a believer in the greatness of the prophets before him, including Jesus.
             There are some elemental concepts that underlie her analysis of fundamentalism in all three, and it is helpful at the beginning of these lessons to review these precepts:.
             There are two broad ways of grounding our faith: mythos and logos.


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