“Fundamentalism is characterized by a markedly strict literalism as applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining ingroup and outgroup distinctions.” The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, along with the attacks on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, have renewed discussion about the role of religious fundamentalism in acts of violence. Some claim that fundamentalism always leads to violence or even that certain ideologies are more prone to violence than others. Another view is that violence is the result of various cultural and political factors which have little to do with religious doctrine.
How and why does fundamentalism grip people’s beliefs, when the world is naturally diverse in opinions? Why do some fundamentalist ideologies become violent (KKK, ISIS, Khmer Rouge), and other do not (Jehovah’s Witness)? How can we combat fundamentalism? Here is a short relevant video.