Review of Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms and Society and Fundamentalism and the State
April 1, 1995
In this article, José Casanova reviews volumes 2 and 3 of the Fundamentalism Project: Fundamentalisms and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, and Education (1993) and Fundamentalism and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance (1993). Casanova states that the individual books, looking at fundamentalism primarily in Islam and Protestantism, though with articles referencing many other faiths, are well written and work well as individual scholarly works. However, Casanova criticizes the general trajectory of the work, contending that taken together the essays do not construct a general theory on fundamentalism, nor offer a clear understanding of it. Instead, Casanova argues, the essays seem to cover a broad range of movements and organizations that stand in opposition to the division of church and state, or tend to be more conservative. He notes both groups whose inclusion in problematic (such as Protestants in Latin America) as well as seemingly fundamentalist groups not included (such as more conservative Catholics and Confucians). He calls for fundamentalism to be more understood as an anti-modern movement, not inherently based in either Islam or Protestantism. This review was published in the Journal of Religion.