So much has been written about Islamic fundamentalism since 11th September that we might think this was a concept unknown in any other religion. This is not the case.
The concept began its semantic career at the start of the 20th century, applied to the defence of Protestant orthodoxy against Darwinism. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the strict maintenance of traditional orthodox religious beliefs” and the literal acceptance of holy creeds.
In the US, especially in the deep south, fundamentalists have continued to revile Darwinism and, many would argue, exercise an increasingly conservative influence on politics. In some…
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