The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism  book cover
1st Edition

The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism

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ISBN 9781593851507
Published April 28, 2005 by Guilford Press
247 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents a new psychological framework for understanding religious fundamentalism, one that distinguishes fundamentalist traditions from other faith-based groups and helps explain the thinking and behavior of believers. Steering clear of stereotypes, the highly regarded authors offer respectful, historically informed examinations of several major fundamentalist groups. Focusing primarily on Protestant sects, including the Church of God (a Pentecostal denomination), the serpent-handling sects of Appalachia, and the Amish, the book also discusses Islamic fundamentalism. Addressed are such key themes as the role of the sacred text within fundamentalism; how beliefs and practices that many find difficult to comprehend actually fit into coherent meaning systems; and how these meaning systems help meet individuals' needs for purpose, value, and self-worth.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Fundamentalist Religion as an Intratextual Search for Meaning  Fundamentalism as a Meaning System  The History of Protestant Fundamentalism  Fundamentalism in a Pentecostal Denomination: The Church of God (of Prophecy)  Fundamentalism among Religious Serpent-Handling Sects  Fundamentalism among the Amish  Fundamentalist Islam  Intratextuality, Stereotyping, and Quasi-Fundamentalisms  Epilogue  Notes  References  Index

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Ralph W. Hood, Jr., PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee–Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN

Peter C. Hill, PhD, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, La Mirada, CA

W. Paul Williamson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR


'This is an important work, and it is easily the best work in the psychology of religion in a decade.' - Darren E. Sherkat, PhD, Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University