WHY I AM A LUKEWARM ENEMY OF FUNDAMENTALISM

Douglas Lawrie

Abstract


Assuming that mere opposition to fundamentalism is counter-productive, if not
hypocritical, this article calls for an understanding of the question fundamentalism
seeks to answer: What is to fill the space between the ‘most sacred’ and the ‘most
mundane’? It turns out that we struggle to provide better answers. If, instead of
dismissing fundamentalism as a futile reaction against modernity, the ambiguous
links between fundamentalism and postmodernity are explored, it is seen that
modernity, late capitalism and postmodernity are intertwined in complex ways that
defy standard classifications. Fundamentalism poses important questions to the
contemporary world and thus deserves some sympathy. The conclusion suggests that
we should, nevertheless, prefer to the negativity of fundamentalism sources of
affirmation. These may be found in the spaces of the ‘most sacred’ and the ‘most
mundane’ – but not simply in ‘secularity’.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/99-0-679

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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