Fundamentalism refers to a set of beliefs and values that require strict observance of certain theological doctrines. It is a reaction to the demands of modern theology in an effort to promote accuracy and continuity of certain theological teachings.
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The word fundamentalism originally referred to certain theological beliefs that developed into a movement among the Protestant groups in the United States during the 20th century. It was developed from the beliefs and values of the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy that was common during that period. Today, the term fundamentalism is widely used to refer to a set of theological beliefs that are recommended by certain religious groups.
History of fundamentalism
Historians have described three phases that explain the origin and development of fundamentalism. The first phase lasted from 1890 to 1925. During this period, fundamentalism began as a rebellion against the doctrines of American Protestantism, which is considered as one of the constituents of Evangelicalism.
The second phase was characterized by minimal recognition of Fundamentalism by the public. Even though, its fame declined during this phase, it did not disappear completely. The third phase was in the 1970s when it regained its fame and grew massively. Since then, different people have embraced it.
Critical aspects of Fundamentalism
The interpretation of the bible and the concept of faith formed the basis for fundamentalism. Fundamentalists believe that the original biblical transcripts comprised words that were inspired by God. They believe that people who were inspired and commanded by God to present his will to humanity wrote the Bible.
The inspiration of the Bible is cited as the main foundation of Fundamentalism. However, the doctrine on the Godly nature of Christ existed before the doctrine on the inspiration of the Bible. Fundamentalists believe that Jesus was God. They base their belief on the authority of the bible and their interpretation of the actions of Christ as Godly.
According to Fundamentalism, believing in the divinity of Christ is important for transformation of both life and the human heart. However, its teachings have been shown to be ineffective in times of trials. During such moments, people lose faith in God because of the problems and suffering they encounter. This has been a major cause of defection from Fundamentalism to Secularism and agnosticism.
Another core belief of Fundamentalism is the Virgin birth of Christ. This doctrine is highly recognized because it strengthens the doctrine of Christ’s deity. It claims that Mary was a virgin only before the birth of Jesus because it teaches that she had other children apart from Jesus.
Some critics of Fundamentalism claim that Jesus only gave a moral example for people to follow. In reaction to this criticism, fundamentalists claim that Jesus’ death was substitutionary. This means that he took away our sins and suffered on behalf of humanity. God punished him for the sake of the redemption of humanity.
Belief in Christ’s resurrection is another defining doctrine of Fundamentalism. Fundamentalists believe that the resurrection of Christ was a real occurrence and not a falsehood by ancient writers and believers as claimed by atheists and religious critics. Fundamentalism teaches that to reject or deny resurrection is to deny the validity of the scripture as the inspired word of God.
There is disagreement among fundamentalists on the doctrine of Christ’s second coming. They all believe that Christ will come back to earth one day in the future. However, they differ on the exact day that he will come back. Some claim that he will come after two thousand years. Others assert that there is no evidence of such claims in the Bible. These five doctrines define fundamentalism and were the foundation for its development. These doctrines are still in existence but not as strong as they were when the movement emerged.
Fundamentalism has undergone several changes in the last century. The main doctrines of fundamentalism in today’s society include a belief in the Bible, belief in Christ as the savior and belief in heaven and hell. They believe that accepting Christ as savior does not require an individual to belong to any church.
Their success in advancing their doctrines is founded on their discipline. Their teachings govern all aspects of their life. For example, they have strict rules on certain behaviors such as drinking, gambling, and sex. Fundamentalists have been criticized for being excessively focused on church matters that they dedicate little time to other things. Despite this criticism, they hold on to their teachings and disregard other people’s opinions.
Originally, fundamentalism originated as a rebellion against Protestant doctrines. However, the concept has evolved over time and encompassed many people and faiths. It involves strict adherence to beliefs and values that have been passed through generations. There are four main teachings or beliefs of fundamentalism. They include a belief in the Bible as the word of God, resurrection of Christ, the birth of Jesus by a virgin mother, and the second coming of Christ.
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Even though these are the common doctrines of fundamentalism, their degree of observance and variation differ among different groups of people. The binding nature of these doctrines has cultivated a sense of discipline in fundamentalists. This discipline has been the main reason why fundamentalism has survived through the decades and is still present in today’s society. Even though fundamentalism has evolved tremendously, these doctrines are still its governing principles.
Islamophobia refers to prejudice, fear, or hatred against Muslims. It originated during the 1900s but its modern use began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It gained more fame after the September 11 attacks on the United States of America. The term has also been used to describe discrimination of Muslims by excluding them from the economic and social aspects of a country.
It is mainly expressed by perceiving Islam as a religion whose ideologies are unrealistic, violent, and uncivilized. As such, Islam is considered as a violent political group rather than a religion. Islamophobia is grouped together with xenophobia and antisemitism. Some researchers have gone as far as describing it as a form of racism. However, this has elicited controversies and heated debates.
Causes and effects of Islamophobia
The main cause of Islamophobia is misleading information concerning Islam. Islamophobic people neither express willingness to seek the truth concerning Islam nor spend time with Muslims to know the truth. This is caused by fear that many have, and the perception that Muslims are violent. This has worsened the situation and made it more complex.
Islamophobia has led to belief in several tenets that have set Islam apart as a different group in the society. First, it is believed that Islam cannot embrace change and it is the same since its establishment. Secondly, Islam holds different values and beliefs from all other religious groups.
Thirdly, Islam is regarded as unreasonable and uncivilized, thus inferior to other religions. Fourthly, Islam is considered as a religion that advocates for violence and lawlessness among its followers. Fifthly, the political ideologies of Islam are violent and do not promote social and political cohesion. Despite the fact that these views are not true, many people believe in them and judge Muslims based on them.
In the United States, mainstream Muslim organizations are treated with suspicion. These beliefs encourage discrimination, violence and exclusion of Muslims. For example, from the year 2004, there has been a 24% increase in the number of Muslim harassment and discrimination cases in the United States.
Islamophobia is not only observed in the violent and discriminatory treatment of Muslims but also in other areas such as bringing up of Muslim children. Muslim children are taught the importance of freedom and equality in the society. However, when they grow up and realize that they are denied these rights, they become disappointed. Disappointment can influence social disorder and irrational violence as an expression of anger towards unfair treatment and discrimination.
Islamophobia undermines the concept of multiculturalism in the American society. It promotes cultural and religious discrimination, which demoralize the social and cultural status of America. The rising level of Islamophobia in the west is enough evidence of decline of multiculturalism. This has been augmented by the perception of Islam as a religion that is resistant to change. It has been described as a way to resist the influence that Islam can have on the culture and political ideologies of the west.
The media has played a significant role in promoting Islamophobia. The media underrepresents Muslim ideologies and depicts them in negative light thus perpetuating hatred and stereotyping. As a reaction to the potential degradation of its culture and values, the west discriminates against Muslims and excludes them from its social and economic activities.
One of the remedies to Islamophobia is fair and balanced reporting and depiction of Muslims by the media. It is important for the media to educate the public on what Muslims believe in and what Islam teaches. This would help to clear doubt and eradicate prejudices and hatred against Muslims and Islam.
Terrorism is another factor that perpetuates Islamophobia. Extremist Muslims whose ideologies are different from regular Muslims execute many terrorist attacks.
However, there is no distinction between these two groups. Therefore, the public associates the two groups with similar ideologies and use that misinformed association to condemn Muslims. Islam advocates for peace and cohesion and does not support terrorism. Muslims should not be condemned and hated because a few individuals taint the name of Islam and go against its teachings.
Islamophobia is a common term in the world, which is commonly used to describe hatred and prejudice against the Islam religion that is mainly perpetuated by people who are affiliated to other religions. In addition, it refers to hatred for Muslims. Islamophobia is a concept that originated centuries ago.
However, after the 9/11 attacks, it intensified. It has several consequences that have set Islam as a bad religion whose views propagate violence and terrorism. However, this is not true. People who hold different religious beliefs and values from the beliefs and values of conventional Islam itself propagate terrorism and violence. These people refer to themselves as Muslims but they have distorted its teachings to favor their illegal activities.
Islamophobia encourages hatred against Muslims and consequently destabilizes peaceful coexistence and cohesion. It is important to eradicate Islamophobia in order to promote peace, equality, and freedom for all people. Discriminating and isolating Muslims on grounds of their religion is unethical because it encourages actions that violate their human rights.