Studies in Religious Fundamentalism

Edited by Lionel Caplan

Subjects: Religion
Paperback : 9780887065194, 216 pages, January 1988
Hardcover : 9780887065187, 216 pages, January 1988

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Introduction
Lionel Caplan

2. The Quest for the Islamic State: Islamic Fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran
Sami Zubaida

3. 'Thank God we're Secular!' Aspects of Fundametalism in a Turkish Town
Richard Tapper and Nancy Tapper

4. A Case of Fundamentalism in West Africa: Wahabism in Bamako
Jean-Loup Amselle (translated by Donald Taylor)

5. Rethinking Fundamentalism: the Readjustment of Jewish Society in the Modern World
Jonathan Webber

6. The Khalsa Resurrected: Sikh Fundamentalism in the Punjab
Angela Dietrich

7. Incipient Fundamentalism: Religion and Politics among Sri Lankan Hindus in Britain
Donald Taylor

8. Fundamentalism as Counter-culture: Protestants in Urban South India
Lionel Caplan

9. The Moral Majority: the Politics of Fundamentalism in Secular Society
Steve Bruce

10. Fundamentalism and Modernity: the Restoration Movement in Britain
Andrew Walker

Author Index
Subject Index


This book examines the specific circumstances that nurture fundamentalist beliefs and practices. It studies contemporary fundamentalist developments in several continents, involving groups associated with five major religions. The authors answer important questions regarding the 'rationality' of fundamentalism, its complex link with modernism, the nature of its relationship to a sacred text, and its perspectives on history and knowledge.

No fixed set of qualities defines fundamentalism. Since it implies a view of the universe and a discourse about the nature of truth, it encompasses and transcends the religious domain. For that reason, every movement or cause is potentially fundamentalist.

Lionel Caplan is a reader in the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.