LARGER EARS AND SMALLER HORNS: TOWARDS DISTINGUISHING CONSERVATIVE FROM FUNDAMENTALIST THEOLOGY

Hendrik Bosman

Abstract


The term ‘fundamentalism’ is often used to ridicule any strong religious conviction
and greater conceptual clarity must be achieved to do justice to conservative and
evangelical approaches that are decidedly not fundamentalist. This contribution
attempts to distinguish between conservative and fundamentalist modes of
theological reflection and how this distinction is important within a South African
context. Special attention will be given to the different interpretations of the Bible
and history in response to Modernism. One of the main arguments is that
conservative and evangelical theology become fundamentalist when it refuses to
listen to or engage in dialogue with alternative points of view (the need for larger
ears). This lack of tolerance becomes dangerous when it triggers the increase of the
vehemence with which the own point of view is defended as ‘the only’ truth (the need
for smaller horns).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/99-0-680

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

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