What is Fundamentalism?

27/02/13, 09:30 - 16:45

The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

This conference was in three parts. The first session explored the definitions and origins of Fundamentalism, including a look at its roots in American Protestantism and an examination of what constitutes the Fundamentalist mindset.


The second session looked in more detail at different kinds of Fundamentalism – through the eyes of experts on Islamic, Jewish and Hindu religious and cultural traditions.


The final session asked what the conditions are which are producing or reproducing Fundamentalism in today’s world, and whether dialogue is possible with Fundamentalists. It included present and historical perspectives on non-religious ideologies and on Scientific Fundamentalism as well as the rising political influence of Fundamentalism in countries including the USA, Israel and Pakistan.



Session One: Definitions and Origins of Fundamentalism


Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch Kt FBA, Oxford University (chair): Introduction


Professor James Dunn FBA, Durham University: The Roots of Christian Fundamentalism in American Protestantism


Professor Peter Herriot, City University: Exploring the Fundamentalist Mindset – the social psychologist’s viewpoint


Malise Ruthven, author of Fundamentalism: The Search for Meaning: Fundamentalism in the 21st century


Audio recording



Session Two: Fundamentalism in Religions other than Christianity


Professor Linda Woodhead, Lancaster University (chair): Introduction


Ed Husain, Council on Foreign Relations: Islamic Fundamentalism


Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Movement for Reform: Jewish Fundamentalism


Professor Julius Lipner FBA, Cambridge University: Hindu Fundamentalism


Audio recording



Session Three: Fundamentalism in the Modern World


Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy (chair): Introduction


Professor Peter Neumann, King’s College London: remarks


Karen Armstrong, author of Battle for God: remarks


Professor John Lennox, Oxford University: remarks


Audio recording


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