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The Psychology Of Religious Fundamentalism

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Univ. of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Challenges commonly held stereotypes regarding religious fundamentalism and sets aside new avenues for the psychological study of religion. Emphasizes the central role of the sacred text within fundamentalist traditions. Draws clear distinctions among fundamentalism, political extremism, and religious based militancy.

Author Biography

Ralph W. Hood, Jr., is a social psychologist with a long-standing interest in the psychology of religion. He is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Although not a fundamentalist, Dr. Hood believes that fundamentalism has been poorly portrayed in the psychology of religion by researchers and scholars who are so distant from the assumptions and worldview of fundamentalists that they offer explanations for a phenomenon they have not adequately or fairly described.

Peter C. Hill was raised an evangelical in a family strongly committed to the church. He is currently a professor of psychology at Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology. Biola University played a significant role in the early days of the Protestant fundamentalist movement and today identifies itself as an "interdenominational and yet theologically conservative" institution. The Rosemead School of Psychology seeks to advance a psychologically and Christian theologically integrated understanding of human nature.

W. Paul Williamson was born the son of a Church of God (of Prophecy) minister. He followed in his father's footsteps and became an ordained minister in the denomination, serving 17 years of full-time ministry. During his doctoral studies, he felt the need to resign from the clergy and from his affiliation with the church to pursue a career in academic psychology. He is currently an assistant professor of psychology at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Dr. Williamson draws upon a wealth of experience in a Pentecostal tradition, both as a former member and as clergy, allowing him unique insights into its fundamentalist worldview.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1(10)
1 Fundamentalist Religion as an Intratextual Search for Meaning 11(19)
2 Fundamentalism as a Meaning System 30(17)
3 The History of Protestant Fundamentalism 47(37)
4 Fundamentalism in a Pentecostal Denomination: The Church of God (of Prophecy) 84(31)
5 Fundamentalism among Religious Serpent-Handling Sects 115(18)
6 Fundamentalism among the Amish 133(22)
7 Fundamentalist Islam 155(28)
8 Intratextuality, Stereotyping, and Quasi-Fundamentalisms 183(28)
Epilogue 211(4)
Notes 215(10)
References 225(14)
Index 239

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