Ruthven, Both Muslim and Christian Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Schneider argues that secular fundamentalism is a religion that adheres to a strict set of beliefs, mainly that "God should be strictly excluded from civil affairs" (para. 4). This view of secular fundamentalism shares little difference with the traditional fundamentalism, with the exception of two traits. Secular fundamentalists are not patriarchal, as they accept modern gender standards, and they desire the modern age of science rather than wanting to overturn it ("10 Traits of Fundamentalist Movements").

2. Adam Otto argues that every religion is an interpretation of the sacred, a "numinous phenomenon" that is at the heart of all spirituality. Otto's interpretation would accept that all religious are valid because they are all simply different interpretations of the same thing. Otto argues that the sacred is a mystery, overwhelming if one were to be in its presence, and is fascinating ("Theorists of Religion: Otto"). In the Christian religion, this is true of the Christian God, who is often described as bright and awesome in visions, so bight that one cannot tear his or her eyes away. In addition, the concept of the trinity makes the sacred a mystery. The Hindu religion also shows an acceptance of the sacred as having these three traits. The many form-shifting, various god-personalities, and other spiritual beings are both overwhelming in their brilliance, as paintings show, and mysterious. Further, the paintings of these gods show them brightly colored and formed in such a way that they would hold one's attention. Thus,
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many religions certainly do accept Otto's theory of the sacred. Religious fundamentalists, however, do not. Ruthven argues that while many followers of certain religions may follow the same God, such as Jews, Christians, and Muslims do, fundamentalists from these religions are ready to come to arms about what that God's desires are (4). This certainly does not show that fundamentalists recognize the inherent sameness that Otto proposes.

3. The major problem with fundamentalism is the fact that it "has been the principal source of conflict since the late 1980s and early 1990s" (Ruthvan 4). This problem is created by the traits that fundamentalists share -- the fact they believe they are exclusively right, while all others are wrong. In addition, fundamentalists are incredibly vested in their beliefs as such. To combat this, it is necessary to encourage the adaptation of a view like Adam Otto's view of the sacred. In as many venues as possible, those who are not fundamentalists must proclaim with emphasis the similarities among religions so that enlightenment may be reached. Further, Ruthvan points out that ethnic and national ties often compound this nationalism, so another way to solve this problem is to get at the root causes, such as poverty, poor access to education, and corrupt governments.

Works Cited

Ruthven, Malise. Fundamentalism: The Search For Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 2004.

Schneider, Gary. "Secular Fundamentalism in America." News Bull n.d. The Reality

Check. 9 June 2009. …

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Ruthven, Malise. Fundamentalism: The Search For Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 2004.

Schneider, Gary. "Secular Fundamentalism in America." News Bull n.d. The Reality

Check. 9 June 2009.

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