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  1. How Religions Become Fundamentalist
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However, the term represents a much more complex phenomenon.

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This article relates extremist forms of religious orientation directly to globalisation. Keywords: religious orientation , religious extremist , religious fundamentalism , global fundamentalism , communications interdependence. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase.

How Religions Become Fundamentalist

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Swift, An Essay upon the Life, Almost totally absent from such arguments is any inclination to examine Jewish fundamentalism, or so much as to ask whether it, too, might be a factor in the conflict over Palestine, one of the reasons why it seems so insoluble. There is, in fact, a great ignorance of, or indifference to, this whole subject in the outside world, and not least in the United States.

This is due at least in part to that general reluctance of the mainstream American media to subject Israel to the same searching scrutiny to which it would other states and societies, and especially when the issue in question is as sensitive, as emotionally charged, as this one is. But, in the view of the late Israel Shahak, it reflects particularly badly on an American Jewry which, with its ingrained, institutionalized aversion to finding fault with Israel, turns a blind eye to what Israelis like himself viewed with disgust and alarm, and unceasingly said so.

American Jews, especially Orthodox ones, are generous financiers of the shock troops of fundamentalism, the religious settlers; indeed a good 10 percent of these, and among the most extreme, violent, and sometimes patently deranged, are actually immigrants from America. Abraham H. Published one and a half decades earlier and one of the first book-length studies on Jewish fundamentalism in Israel in English was Ian S.

And yet, even before academic interest in the rather recent phenomenon of modern Jewish fundamentalism in Israel noticeably manifested itself in the English-speaking world, anglophone Jewish writers acknowledged its topicality and its attraction for the relatively small number of American Jewish immigrants to Israel. Indeed, fundamentalism, particularly Jewish fundamentalism, seems to have become a salient topic in Jewish fiction in English in recent years. In this chapter, I propose to discuss this emerging pattern as opposed to the more familiar topic of Jewish Orthodoxy with reference to novels by Philip Roth, Tova Reich, Melvin Jules Bukiet, and in several ways the odd one out Simon Louvish.

As anticipated by Alvin H.

Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth - Oxford Scholarship

Rosenfeld as early as ,7 during the last three decades the confrontation with Judaism has gained more and more prominence in anglophone, particularly American, Jewish literature. This explains why Jewish fundamentalism in Israel began to emerge as a recognizable force only in the aftermath of this war, although its antecedents reach much further back into history. Best known among the various fundamentalist groups in Israel and arguably for a long time politically the most influential is, perhaps, the Gush Emunim the Bloc of the Faithful , which was established in and which more or less in collusion with successive Likud governments and other nationalist-religious parties since promotes Jewish settlement in the occupied territories.

This movement receives its theological inspiration largely from the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook —; a. The question of how to advance their cause more effectively proved to be a divisive issue. Haredim strictly refuse to acknowledge the alleged beginning of redemption the victory of the Six Day War is of no significance to them in this context and strongly oppose to Zionism, because, in their view, redemption cannot be promoted otherwise than by an observant life.

For this reason, they are even prepared to cede territory to save Jewish lives.

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These seemingly moderate views, however, as Shahak and Mezvinsky have pointed out, are situated within an ideological superstructure that is no less inflexible and intransigent than that of nationalist-religious Jews. A difficult child, Andrea suffered from eating disorder, indulged in self-mutilation, and had three abortions. The significance of the concept of the teshuva for the negotiation of contemporary American Jewish identities that Reich projects in this as well as in her next novel, The Jewish War , is confirmed by the fact that she received for her Master of the Return the prestigious Edward Lewis Wallant Award, established to honor outstanding works of fiction that have significance for the American Jew.

The journal of Shmuel Himmelhoch, addressed to his newborn son Akiva and presented in excerpts in the first part of the novel, records his various attempts, both spiritual and physical, at reaching the small Ukrainian town of Uman. Rabbi Nachman is interred in Uman and to his latter-day followers in Israel it has become a symbol of the purity to which they aspire.

A particularly bizarre instance is the debate over whether his crippled widow, Ivriyah, should be allowed to talk to the men about Shmuel. After a lengthy discussion, she is finally allowed to say a few words, provided that she cross the little stream and the men turn their backs toward her and do not gaze upon her There, the little boy Akiva and the Haredi Abba Nissim, apparently searching for him, go missing.

The loss of the child is used by Reich to construe a reworking of the biblical narrative of the sacrifice of Isaac the akedah , which she invokes as an archetype of both fundamentalist single-mindedness and the gender relations in fundamentalist communities. As the Bible has it, Sarah, when she learned that she was going to be pregnant, though well stricken in age, laughed within herself.

Fundamentalism and Literature

He is already wielding the blank steel when Israeli soldiers capture him. For Abba Nissim the once more rejected sacrifice signifies the renewal of the covenant, and when shofar blasts pierce the morning air he believes redemption to be at hand. In Lovingkindness, the sincerity of the transformation of Andrea into Sarai is questioned by her mother in various ways.

What does it have to do with faith?

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So you settle for the counterfeit of faith, for the style, the externals, the costume, which appeal to you so much aesthetically. And what aesthetics boils down to in the end.

Anson Shupe

For idol worship is, of course, not only a violation of the first and second commandments but also the most prominent among the reasons for the expulsion from the Promised Land; it is the ultimate breach of the covenant. In her next novel, The Jewish War, Reich returned to the subject of Jewish fundamentalism in Israel and, indeed, it is probably the most comprehensive and the most pertinent literary contribution to the discussion of Jewish fundamentalism to date.

It chronicles the rise and fall of a fictitious group of secessionist Jewish settlers who, at the end of the twentieth century, create the Kingdom of Judea and Samaria with a view to promoting redemption. In its course, all of them metamorphose into full-blown nationalist-religious fundamentalists who, by acting out their beliefs, pose a serious threat from within to Israeli security. Hoshea has a summer job there as a waiter, but he also stands in as master of the ceremonies in the casino and shows considerable oratorical talent: And then he would seize and wring their hearts like dishrags, purge the dross from their souls with an account of the modern-day State of Israel—draining the swamps, reclaiming the deserts, campfires and accordions and horas, stunning dark-skinned girl soldiers in thight khaki uniforms, boy soldiers with knitted yarmulkes clipped to their hair leaning on submachine guns, an open Talmud spread out in front of them across the back of a tank.

Ah, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, her cupolas golden in the sunset, bins of golden oranges and grapefruits, the novelty, the glorious novelty, of healthy Jews with muscles and good teeth, nerve and sass. Yet there is still another level of meaning to this passage. His power over the crowd was to mold it into a single organism that reflected, exactly, his mood. Israel is life! Israel is ours! Israel Is! Remember the gas! Remember the ovens!

Fundamentalism (In Our Time)

And he deeply resented this deprivation. At rallies in protest against any threat to the State of Israel, Yehudi in those days would declare himself a disciple of Martin Luther King, Jr. He would cross lines, chain himself to fences, trespass on property, go limp like a noodle, be carted off in a paddy wagon, undergo routine processing at a police station, and despite his vehement objections, to his utter chagrin, be released back onto the streets.