Beyond Fundamentalism

Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization

Beyond Fundamentalism

“A very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism” (The Washington Post) from the bestselling author of Zealot and host of CNN’s Believer The wars in the Middle East have become religious wars in which God is believed to be directly engaged on behalf of one side against the other. The hijackers who attacked America on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting in the name of God. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, the United States, by infusing the War on Terror with its own religiously polarizing rhetoric, is fighting a similar war—a war that can’t be won. Beyond Fundamentalism is both an in-depth study of the ideology fueling militants throughout the Muslim world and an exploration of religious violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At a time when religion and politics increasingly share the same vocabulary and function in the same sphere, Aslan writes that we must strip the conflicts of our world of their religious connotations and address the earthly grievances that always lie at its root. How do you win a religious war? By refusing to fight in one. Featuring new content and updated analysis • Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War “[A] thoughtful analysis of America’s War on Terror.” —The New Yorker “Offers a very persuasive argument for the best way to counter jihadism.”—The Washington Post “[Reza] Aslan dissects a complex subject (terrorism and globalization) and distills it with a mix of narrative writing, personal anecdotes, reportage and historical analysis.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Aslan is not only a perspicuous, thoughtful interpreter of the Muslim world but also a subtle psychologist of the call to jihad.”—Los Angeles Times “[A] meaty analysis of the rise of Jihadism . . . dispels common misconceptions of the War on Terror age.”—San Jose Mercury News “It is Aslan’s great gift to see things clearly, and to say them clearly, and in this important new work he offers us a way forward. He is prescriptive and passionate, and his book will make you think.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion

Beyond Fundamentalism

Beyond Fundamentalism

Examines the fundamentalist Christians' interpretation of the Bible and analyzes the use of the Bible as an authority for fundamentalism

Beyond Creed

From Religion to Spirituality

Beyond Creed

"Creedal messianism" is Stephen Rose's original term for the belief system that the church, including original witnesses, created to obscure Jesus' iconoclastic understanding of the gospel. Rose argues that messianism is a cruel virus which eats away at the very essence of selfhood. In Beyond Creed he shows how messianism has hampered the veryprogress Jesus sought to bring about on earth.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM

Beyond the Basics

BIBLICAL CRITICISM


Fundamentalisms

Threats and Ideologies in the Modern World

Fundamentalisms

What is fundamentalism and what does it really amount to? How do uncompromising counter-cultural movements make ordinary people behave in extraordinary ways? Arguing that an adherence to scriptural literalism and biblical inerrancy is at root a reaction to modernism, these are among the key questions with which this timely book grapples. But it goes further. Other studies have concentrated above all on Christian and Islamic fundamentalism. This volume, while exploring the origins and articulations of the fundamentalist mindset, addresses the subject from the comparative perspective of different religions, including Judaism and Hinduism. It is innovative in yet another respect. Contending that notions of certainty and infallibility are not just a religious phenomenon, the book argues that fundamentalism can be detected also in science when scientists use scientific authority to pronounce on areas outside their competence. With contributors who include Karen Armstrong, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Malise Ruthven and Ed Husain, this is a bold and incisive assessment of a crucial yet often oversimplified topic.

Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism

How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy Set the Theological Agenda

Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism

American Protestant Christianity is often described as a two-party system divided into liberals and conservatives. This book clarifies differences between the intellectual positions of these two groups by advancing the thesis that the philosophy of the modern period is largely responsible for the polarity of Protestant Christian thought. A second thesis is that the modern philosophical positions driving the division between liberals and conservatives have themselves been called into question. It therefore becomes opportune to ask how theology ought to be done in a postmodern era, and to envision a rapprochement between theologians of the left and right. A concluding chapter speculates specifically on the era now dawning and the likelihood that the compulsion to separate the spectrum into two distinct camps will be precluded by the coexistence of a wide range of theological positions from left to right. Nancey C. Murphy is Associate Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, and the author of Reasoning and Rhetoric in Religion, also published by Trinity Press. Her book Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning earned the American Academy of Religion's Award for Excellence.

Faith-based Radicalism

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism Between Constructive Activism and Destructive Fanaticism

Faith-based Radicalism

Terror attacks against Western symbols of power, suicide terrorism in Chechnya, or bombing of abortion clinics in the United States: these are a few of the violent religious outbursts that the media never seem to stop broadcasting. While these outbursts are mostly linked to Islamic extremism, it should however be acknowledged that every religion has its own violent side. Despite all the events the media are too prompt to show us, it would be dishonest and insensible not to accept that every religion has also a potential for religious peace building and communal renewal. How, can it be explained then, that religions sometimes react violently against the society surrounding them by trying to overthrow it, while at some other times they willingly help and try to build a better world for everyone? The University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp organised an interdisciplinary summer seminar in September 2005 and gathered senior scholars - all experts in their own fields - and junior scholars - who will be the experts of tomorrow - from all over the world, to discuss these burning issues. The seminar focused on miscellaneous topics all pointing towards the question of religion and society; like literalism and the Holy texts, the ambivalence of faith-based radicalism, the psychology of religion and terrorism, nationalism and religion and religious social movements. - Publisher.

Critical Realism and Spirituality

Critical Realism and Spirituality

Critical Realism and Spirituality contextualizes, delineates, explores and critiques the turn to spirituality and religion in critical realism, which has been under way since the mid-1990s, as well as telling its story. It provides incisive discussion and anaysis of the following broad questions: How does critical realism allow and facilitate the resolution of problems in the area of comparative religion? Can it help you to justify your own faith or belief? What are the implications of the new philosophy of meta-Reality for traditional religious studies and how we organize and conduct our lives? A range of distinguished critical realists, theological critical realists and scholars working with related approaches (Roland Benedikter, Roy Bhaskar, Terry Eagleton, Mervyn Hartwig, Alister McGrath, Markus Molz, Jamie Morgan, Andrew Wright and others) bring their talents to bear on this task. While their personal beliefs span the whole spectrum from theism to atheism, they are united by the desire to open up a space for dialogue of one kind or another (intra-faith, inter-faith and/or extra-faith), promoting mutual understanding, respect and the unity and capability for collective emancipatory action on a global scale that humanity is so sorely in need of. This book is therefore, essential reading for students and academics alike in Religous Studies, Theology and Philosophy.

Pentecostalism and Christian Unity

Ecumenical Documents and Critical Assessments

Pentecostalism and Christian Unity

This volume of ecumenical documents, key texts, and critical essays is the first collection of its kind exclusively dedicated to Pentecostalism and its contributions to Christian unity. In the first part, a cadre of internationally renowned scholars addresses the ecumenical heritage and perspectives of the Pentecostal movement since the early twentieth century. Part 2 offers a collection of final reports from international dialogues with Pentecostal participation. The final part contains programmatic essays in response to The Nature and Mission of the Church, a major study on the doctrine of the church published by the World Council of Churches. Most of these essays were first presented by the ecumenical-studies group of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, currently the only organized ecumenical think tank among Pentecostals in North America. Since its formation in 2001, the group has encouraged Pentecostal participation in ecumenical concerns, has hosted Roman Catholic-Pentecostal conversations at the annual meeting of the Society, has invited international scholarly debates on ecumenical matters, and has engaged in the study of ecumenical consensus statements. The essays and documents in this collection model the dedication and commitment among Pentecostals today that engage the challenges and opportunities of Christian unity from the perspective of a tradition that has often been falsely accused of being anti-ecumenical. This collection presents an invaluable resource for teachers, scholars, and pastors interested in engaging the global Christian arena from the worldwide and ecumenical image of Pentecostalism. Contributors Carmelo E. Alvarez Harold D. Hunter Douglas Jacobsen Veli-Matti Karkkainen Frank D. Macchia Raymond R. Pfister Cecil M. Robeck Jr. Paul van der Laan Wolfgang Vondey

Against Dogmatism

Dwelling in Faith and Doubt

Against Dogmatism

Many contemporary discussions of religion take an absolute, intractable approach to belief and non-belief, which privileges faith and dogmatism while treating doubt as a threat to religious values. As Madhuri M. Yadlapati demonstrates, however, there is another way: a faith (or non-faith) that embraces doubt and its potential for exploring both the depths and heights of spiritual reflection and speculation. Through three distinct discussions of faith, doubt, and hope, Yadlapati explores what it means to live creatively and responsibly in the everyday world as limited, imaginative, and questioning creatures. She begins with a perceptive survey of diverse faith experiences in Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Protestant Christianity, then narrows her focus to Protestant Christianity and Hinduism to explore how the great thinkers of those faiths have embraced doubt in the service of spiritual transcendence. Defending the rich tapestry of faith and doubt against polarization, Against Dogmatism reveals a spiritual middle way, an approach native to the long-standing traditions in which faith and doubt are interwoven in constructive and dynamic ways.