The Freedom to do God's Will : Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change book cover
1st Edition

The Freedom to do God's Will
Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change

ISBN 9780415270359
Published October 27, 2002 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

Under the auspices of top international commentators, The Freedom to do God's Will considers the global impact of fundamentalism on religious traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. With special reference to human rights issues, women's rights and the influence of social factors, it brings a new dimension to a field of study often dominated by purely religious or political perspectives, whilst challenging received ideas about the violence and conservatism of fundamentalist movements. Illustrated with original case studies, the ten investigative essays from a multicultural panel of experts, each with specific local and academic knowledge of the faiths and issues they discuss, offer an intimate and highly specific portrait of why and how fundamentalism occurs.

Table of Contents

Gerrie ter Haar, Institute of Social Studies, Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change; Abdullahi Ahmed An-na'im, Emory University, Georgia, Islamic Fundamentalism and Social Change; Sharifah Zaleha binti Syed Hassan, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, Strategies to Public Participation: Women and Islamic fundamentalism in Malaysia; Alice Shalvi, Seminary of Judaic Studies, Jerusalem, 'Renew Our Days as of Old'; Nancy T. Ammerman, Hartford Seminary, Re-Awakening a Sleeping Giant; Walter E. A. van Beek, University of Utrecht; Pathways of Fundamentalization; H. L. Seneviratne, University of Virginia, The Monk's New Robes; Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University, Being Hindu and/or Governing India?; R. Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame, Religions, Human Rights and Social Change; James J. Busuttil, Institute of Social Studies, Policy Responses to Religious Fundamentalism

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Gerrie ter Haar is Professor of Religion, Human Rights and Social Change at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and an expert on the history of religions. James J. Busuttil, a former Wall Street lawyer and legal advisor with the US Department of State, is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Social Studies and editor of the bi-monthly Human Rights Case Digest.


'This is a very interesting collection, which invites the reader to revise all existing assumptions about the origins, basis and nature of Fundamentalism.' - Reviews in Religion and Theology

'This book comes as a timely reminder that there is more to 'fundamentalism' than al-Qa'ida ... a volume that marries in-depth area expertise with conceptual richness.' - International Affairs

'The book offers a fascinating glimpse into the interaction of religious fundamentalists with their own cultural traditions and into the resulting differences in the way they deal with human rights issues and women's rights ... this is a book which is relevant not only to scholars of religion and religious fundamentalism.' - Journal of Contemporary Religion'

'The volume attains its aspired aim to reach a broad public including both academics and non-academics.'- Numen