The Glory and the Power: The Fundamentalist Challenge to the Modern World

The Glory and the Power: The Fundamentalist Challenge to the Modern World

by Martin E. Marty, R. Scott Appleby

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fundamentalist religious movements, assert the authors, are ``innovative . . . usually dynamic'' and ``constructive in spirit.'' In this evenhanded study, which is the basis of a PBS series, Marty, professor of Christianity at the University of Chicago, and Appleby ( Church and Age Unite! ) attempt to steer a middle course by refusing to portray fundamentalists as paragons of unreason. In their definition, fundamentalists, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, seek to remake the world by selectively retrieving doctrines and practices from a presumed sacred past. Yet the authors concede that fundamentalists ``need enemies'' and ``demonize opponents.'' After discussing Bob Jones University, an evangelical school in South Carolina, and Operation Rescue, the U.S. anti-abortion movement, they move on to examine Gush Emunim, the Jewish settler movement active in Israel's West Bank, Egypt's Islamic militants bent on aligning government with religious orthodoxy, and resurgent fundamentalist groups from Iran to India and Africa. Photos. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This insightful work serves as a companion to a series of PBS and NPR documentaries aired in June 1992. It includes quotes from filmed interviews not only with Christian fundamentalists (from such groups as the Moral Majority and Operation Rescue) but also with members of the Israeli group Gush Emunin, who are attempting to settle occupied territories, and members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The authors discuss the movements nonjudgmentally, providing keen insights into fundamentalism as a sociological phenomenon. They see these movements as thriving rather than falling into the disarray suggested by Michael D'Antonio's Fall from Grace ( LJ 12/89). Recommended for general readers.-- Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
Mary Carroll
A readable, accessible analysis of an important international issue, "The Glory and the Power" explores characteristics common to fundamentalisms in various cultures. It discusses three cases--Protestant fundamentalism in the U.S., Israel's "Gush Emunim", and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and similar movements in Islam--and then addresses the spiritual and philosophical content of fundamentalisms, as well as their political and social impact. With a nod to Spinoza, the authors "come not to laugh, not to cry, but to understand." Central to their understanding of twentieth-century fundamentalisms is modernity itself: source of both the threat to which these fundamentalisms react and the instrumentalities (like communication technologies) with which they meet that threat. The authors suggest that "fundamentalisms have to be reckoned with as will-to-power movements just as they are quiet motivators of people." In the end, they argue, "united only by a common conviction that the sacred is under sustained attack by the forces of secularization, fundamentalists seek to reconsecrate the world." Marty and Appleby, longtime observers of fundamentalism, served as consultants to the PBS and NPR series to which this book is the companion volume.

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