Religious fundamentalism and utopianism in the 21st century
Sargisson, Lucy (2007) Religious fundamentalism and utopianism in the 21st century. Journal of Political Ideologies, 12 (3). pp. 269-287. ISSN 1356-9317 (Submitted)
Official URL: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/13569317.asp
Why is it so difficult to respond to religious fundamentalism from within a liberal paradigm? This paper explores a core problem within religious fundamentalism, stemming from its relationship to the phenomenon of utopianism. This is a complex relationship, which occurs on several different levels, including the content of fundamentalist visions (religious fundamentalisms contain utopian visions of the good life), and its structural paradigm (utopianism and fundamentalism both stem from discontent with the now, challenge cornerstones of their contemporaneous world, and desire radically different alternatives). Of greatest concern is an attachment to perfection, which permits a malign form of utopianism to propel religious actors into a politics of ‘divinely sanctioned’ violence.
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