Christian Fundamentalism and the Culture of Disenchantment

Christian Fundamentalism and the Culture of Disenchantment

by Paul Maltby


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Christian Fundamentalism and the Culture of Disenchantment by Paul Maltby

Within the familiar clash of religious conservatism and secular liberalism Paul Maltby finds a deeper discord: an antipathy between Christian fundamentalism and the postmodern culture of disenchantment. Arguing that each camp represents the poles of Americas virulent culture wars, he shows how the cultural identity, lifestyle, and political commitments of many Americans match either the fundamentalist profile of one who cleaves to metaphysical and authoritarian beliefs or the postmodern profile of one who is disposed to critical inquiry and radical-democratic values.

Maltby offers a critique that operates in both directions. His use of the resources of postmodern theory to contest fundamentalism's doctrinal claims, ultra-right politics, anti-environmentalism, and conservative aesthetics informs his engagement with contemporary fundamentalist painting, spiritual warfare fiction, dominionist attitudes to nature, and a profoundly undemocratic interpretation of Christianity. At the same time, Maltby identifies some of fundamentalism's legitimate spiritual concerns, assesses the cost of perpetual critique, and exposes the deficit of spiritual meaning that haunts the culture of disenchantment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813933450
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Paul Maltby is Professor of English at West Chester University and the author of The Visionary Moment: A Postmodern Critique.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Note on the Text xiv

Introduction: Creed and Critique 1

1 Fundamentalist History, Postmodern Contingency 33

2 End Times Fiction and the Ironic Reader 53

3 Fundamentalist Exclusivism, Radical Democracy 91

4 Fundamentalist Dominion, Postmodern Ecology 113

5 Evangelical Painting and the Ironic Spectator 130

Conclusion: Disenchanted Christianity 173

Notes 187

Works Cited 203

Index 217

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