Sociology Current

Religious Fundamentalism

Religious Fundamentalism

Published on:
04 Nov 2023

Written by:
Pranay Aggarwal

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Why in news:

Taliban forces have disturbed the political stability and taken control of Afghanistan.Taliban has been using religious fundamentalism as a medium for political gains.

What is Religious Fundamentalism:

It refers to the belief of an individual or a group of individuals in the absolute authority of a sacred religious text or teachings of a particular religious leader or God.Every religion has some elements of fundamentalism and the fundamentalists believe that their own religion is beyond any fault and thus, should be forced on others.

Some characteristics of Religious fundamentalism:

A literal interpretation of religious texts is preferred and every information given in the texts is infallible and there is little room for flexibility. All areas of social life are seen as sacred and the views of fundamentalists are imposed on others in the society. The day to day activities are driven by the norms or rules mentioned the religious texts.

There is a lack of tolerance for other religions in the society. The fundamentalist leaders believe that their religion is superior to other religions. These leaders may prosecute the people to maintain this superiority.

The fundamentalists have conservative beliefs. Generally, traditional roles are accepted and liberalism is questioned. For example, the sexual division of labour is validated. Women are commoditised and domesticated under a patriarchal mindset.

The overall impacts of Religious Fundamentalism:

  • The communal and racial conflicts are seen in the society. E.g.ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Tamils in Sri Lanka.
  • The phenomena of modernisation and secularization gets retarded. The society moves backward to adopt the traditional selective practices and beliefs. For example, imposing Shariya laws and Manusmriti on others in the society.
  • The social mobility of the people based on modern and progressive values are restricted.
  • The religious fundamentalism undermines women’s and girls’ rights and they are treated as objects without subjective conscience. For example,the education of girls is considered threatening by religious fundamentalists.
  • The states driven by Religious fundamentalists disturb the harmony and peace of the rest of the global society.