Religion in Modern Society: Religion and Science, Secularization, Religious Revivalism, Fundamentalism | Sociology Optional (UPSC Notes)

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Religion and Science upsc sociology
ScienceReligion
Science is considered as inquisitive, deliberativeReligion is considered as imaginative and speculative
Science drives man to shape his own destinyReligion push man towards fatalism
Science believes in precision and measurementReligion has no such provisions
Science brings the unknown to the level of observable realityReligion often depicts God as beyond reach of normal human beings
Science is liberating and enlightening and promotes questioning of everythingReligion binds individuals and promotes status quo and tradition
Science is based on rationalityReligion is based on the belief in sacred
Science promotes individual innovations, though team works are also thereReligion is more collectively oriented
Scientific knowledge and method are valid universallyReligious principles are accepted within a particular community only which believe in those principles

Religion(Faith) and Science:

Science doesn’t need religion, and religion doesn’t need science, but people do. Some people think that science and faith can’t go together, but others disagree. There are two main ideas about the connection between science and religion: “Science and religion are at odds with each other” and “Science and religion do not contradict each other.”

Religion is based on beliefs and rituals, while science is based on observation, experiments, verifications, proofs, and facts.

Science is about the world as it is known or as it can be seen. Religion, on the other hand, is interested in the unknown or supernatural world.

Summer and Keller find it hard to find a faith that has been open to free inquiry.

Science says that you shouldn’t believe everything you see at face value.Its worth and meaning can be found out by trying it out. In a lab, all of the things (time, place, person, and tools) that can change the outcome of an experiment are controlled.

Science is different from faith in that it tries to be neutral and objective. People say that the scientific process has done away with subjective biases.Science is based on being exact and measuring things, which faith can’t do.

Science makes the unknown into something that can be seen. Religion can’t bring God down to the level of things that can be seen.Science has more real-world applications in the form of technology, which can be used to change nature.Religion can’t say that something will happen in such a clear and instant way.

Scientific information and methods are the same everywhere, but religious principles vary from one society to the next.

Kingsley Davis says that if you look at faith with a scientific mind, it will fall apart like a leaf in front of a flame.

Those who say that SCIENCE AND RELIGION DO NOT CONFLICT, on the other hand, believe that:

What is known is what science is about. It is possible information based on what the senses tell us. Religions talk about things that can’t be seen or touched. Science can’t be used to prove or disprove information that can’t be shown or shown not to be true.

Religion is a part of everyday life. Religion has been around for a long time, which shows that it has value. It has helped people in many ways that can’t be denied, and it still does.Religion, like other institutions, started because people had certain needs. So, it was thought to be necessary and is still thought to be necessary. If faith is seen as nothing more than a belief in a force or power that is greater than humans, it is still incompatible with science. If, on the other hand, it is seen as a type of moral theory,

H.E. Barnes says that even if there is a conflict between religious beliefs and current science, there isn’t one between science and humanism because humanists base their religion on what science has found.

In its true sense, religion and science do not go against each other. Only dogma or theology, or a twisted form of religion, goes against science. If religion respects and accepts the values of science and if science recognises and accepts the truth and necessity of religion, then there could be no conflict between the two.

Even if there is conflict between faith and science, the main reason is that the line between the two is moving. What was unknown yesterday is known today.The search for empirical truth in science is different from the search for non-empirical truth in religion.

Both are important parts of living. One speaks to the soul, while the other shows progress in the world. Religion brings peace to a society that is both scientifically advanced and worried.Both try to find out what’s out there. So, you can’t study clashes and compatibility between religion and science in a vacuum, because the progress of science can help you understand how religion works. Science is both a way to find out more about the world and a way to solve problems.

Religion and science are both ways that people try to understand the world. Both science and faith are ways that people try to understand the world around them.

Science and faith both try to explain the world of the unknown. Religion is more about working together as a group than science, but science also puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork and cooperation among scientists. Both science and faith say they have a way to find the truth.

Science and faith have both worked against people many times in the past and in the present.Both faith and science have requirements for who can work there.

Max Weber agrees with Marx that faith is at the heart of the rise of capitalism after industrialization and technological progress.

Secularization:

Bryan Wilson says that secularisation is “the process by which religious ideas, practises, and institutions lose their social meaning.”As with all important sociology ideas, the idea of secularisation has been used in many different ways.

In other words, secularisation is the process by which social structures become more independent and religious awareness decreases. As a result, religion becomes “a deportment of the social order” instead of being the most important thing in society. Wilson lists three things that make a society secular:

  • How often Instrumental Values are used
  • How often rational procedures are used
  • How often technological methods are used.

Peter Berger says that secularisation is “the process by which religious institutions and symbols lose their power over parts of society and culture.”

Harvey, Inc.

  • Urbanization
  • Pragmatism
  • This openness to other cultures.
  • Acceptance of differences.

In general, the following changes are signs of secularisation:

  • Religion should be taken out of things like schooling, marriage, etc.
  • The growth of different worldviews
  • Emergence of rational and scientific view
  • Getting better at being critical.

Secularism:

Secularism, on the other hand, can be explained from three different points of view.

  • People-Centric,
  • State-based and
  • When it comes to India, centred on India

People-centered secularism focuses on the idea that religion should not be involved in politics, the business, education, social life, or culture.

State-centered atheism is based on the idea that all religions need to be protected by the government.

India-centered atheism shows how important it is for everyone to work together against communalism.

As an ideology, secularism is made up of the following five ideas:

It emphasises the freedom of people. It says that each person is in charge of his or her own life.People are in charge of their own lives and decisions. It puts trust in human reasoning instead of the guidance of God.

It says that religion and the government should be kept separate. It also says that religion has no place in family life, education, morality, knowledge, or ideals.

It emphasises thinking and asking questions.

Secularism is open to diversity and religious freedom.Tolerance for other religions is a way to support the idea of religious pluralism.

It doesn’t go against religion.

Secularism: European experience:

The main goal of the Reformation and Renaissance in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries was secularism. Martin Luther, who was the main person who started the Protestant Reformation, said that every person has the right to understand God’s words without the help of the church.

Reformation was mainly a religious movement that turned into a backlash later on. Two important things that happened because of the Reformation were:

It did not lead to more religious freedom or tolerance.

People who couldn’t read or write didn’t know about the revolution, so religion was still a big topic of conversation.

During the Renaissance, people pushed for logical thought and questioned the religious uses of cosmos. People were able to understand this idea through mass schooling, a free press, and a social movement.Charles Bradlaugh, one of the most famous secularists, thought that a lot of advertising was a key part of secularisation.

Process of secularisation:

For secularisation to grow, it needed a social environment. It can be explained in more detail as follows:

In the context of feudal lords and the bourgeoisie, the struggle between feudal lands and the bourgeoisie began in the 1800s in England and the Netherlands. The feudal lords lived well. They gave a lot of money to religious groups, and those groups prayed to God for Lord’s health. In order to fight against feudal masters, the Bourgeoisie used science and reason. As a. As a result, feudal advantages based on blood, oppression based on sovereignty, and “divine rights” to rule were questioned on rational grounds.

In “The Capitalist Class and the Wage-Earners,” Disraeli split the capitalist society into two groups: the rich and the poor. salary earners and business owners. The wage earners had no way to own the means of production. After getting just enough money to live on, these workers were cut off from the benefits of their work. They turned to church to help them get through such a hard time. Religion was also used by capitalists to cover up their cruel acts. They also used religion to calm down wage earners who were angry. But as modern nation states like England, France, and so on began to form, democracy was declared. They were given the right to have freedom of thought, which went through three stages.

  • People fought for faith tolerance in the first stage.
  • In the second stage, freedom of religion was defended.
  • At the end of the third stage, real freedom of mind was reached.

Other Institutions and Secularisation:

1. The British monarch is in charge, not the Church of England.

2. The French government doesn’t favour any one religion, and priests aren’t allowed to teach in public schools.

3. Monaco, where 92% of the people were Catholic in 2000, has the most anti-clergy laws of any western country.

4. The government owns church property.

5. Worship outside of the church was not allowed.

6. The government can go into any place of worship and count how many priests are there.

7. They can’t vote or get involved in politics.

8. Radio and TV shows can’t be owned by the Church.

Studies of secularisation have been put into groups based on how the process has been thought about and measured in different ways.

1. The drop in people joining organised religions:

Some researchers have thought that the most important part of religious behaviour is religious groups and the activities that go along with them.From this point of view, they have figured out how important religion is by looking at things like how many people go to church and how many weddings are held in churches. Based on these measures, they say that most western cultures are becoming less religious.Wilson says, “The decline in organised religious participation shows how churches are losing direct control over people’s thoughts and actions.”

But there are many ways to look at the fact that less people are involved in organised religion.David Martin says that going to church in the 1800s was driven more by things other than religion, like being a respectable middle-class person. For many people in the middle class, going to church is no longer a sign of dignity. So, the fact that they don’t go to church may not mean that they no longer believe in God.Robert n. Bellah says that the fall in organised religion can’t be seen as a sign that people don’t believe in and care about religion. Religion may just be shown in a different way now.Bellah says that there has been a shift from group worship to private worship and from clerical interpretation of religion to individual interpretation.He says, “In most of the major Protestant denominations, it is assumed that the church member is responsible for himself.” In most European countries, the number of people who take part in organised religion has gone down over the past century. However, people have very different ideas about what this means.

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2. Disengagement and differentiation:

Secularisation is the process of faith groups pulling away from the rest of society.Compared to what it was like in mediaeval Europe, the church has become less important in modern western society. During the Middle Ages, church and state were joined together. Today, the church isn’t very involved in government. The only exception is that bishops can sit in the British house of lords.Education and social aid used to be run by the church, but now they are run by secular organisations that are run by the government. In the Middle Ages, most art was based on religious themes. This was because the church supported the arts and buildings. Today, atheist ideas are most common.

Bryan Wilson says that the church of England isn’t much more than a set of traditional rituals that act out important turning points in life, like birth, marriage, and death. He thinks that the church’s withdrawal from the rest of society is a sign of secularisation.There is an option to the idea that disengagement is the same as secularisation.

Talcott Parsons agrees that the church has lost a lot of the things it used to do. He says that structural difference is a part of how societies change over time.Different parts of the social order become more specialised and, as a result, do less.

But the fact that the parts of the social order are different doesn’t mean that they are less important. Parsons says that religious beliefs still make life important and give it value. Churches are still the place where morals and ideals come from. Parsons says that as religious institutions become more specialised, their morals and ideals become more and more general. They have become the basis for more general social ideals in the United States. So, many of the values of American culture are both American and Christian at the same time. Because of this, “secular life has been given a new order of religious legitimacy.”

3. Religious pluralism:

Some scholars say that a truly religious culture has only one religion and one church. So, picture is affected by the way things are in some small, illiterate societies, like the Australian aborigines, where the society is religious.From Durkheim’s point of view, the church is the society. Mediaeval European cultures provide a similar picture.There, the established church cared for everyone in the community. But now there are a lot of different groups and sects instead of just one church. People have said that the number of competing religious institutions has made faith less powerful in society.

Bryan Wilson says that if there are different denominations in society, each with its own version of the truth, they can at best only reflect and legitimise the beliefs of a small part of the people. So, “religious values are no longer community values.”Religion no longer reflects and supports the beliefs of society as a whole, so it can no longer do what it has always done, which is to bring people together.

Both Berger and Luckman say the same thing. There is no longer just one faith group with a single, unquestioned view of the supernatural. Instead, there are many groups with different views. Berger says that the rise of denominations makes faith less powerful. There is no longer a single “universe of meaning” for everyone in society. Some experts see the spread of sects as similar to the spread of denominations.It’s been seen as a sign that religion’s hold on society is getting weaker because it’s causing more institutions to break apart.

Peter Berger thinks that the fact that groups are still going strong shows that we live in a secular society. He says that people can only believe in the supernatural in a narrow way in a secular society. To keep a strong religious belief and commitment, people must cut themselves off from the secularising influences of society as a whole and look for help from others who share their beliefs. With its tight-knit group, the sect makes it possible for this to happen. From this point of view, the group is the last place where the supernatural can hide in a society that isn’t religious.Because of this, sects are a sign of secularisation.

Bryan Wilson has a similar point of view. He says that sects are “a feature of societies that are becoming more secular, and they can be seen as a reaction to the fact that religious values are no longer the most important thing in society.”Sects are the last place where religious beliefs and ideals matter in societies where they don’t matter much.

Bryan Wilson is especially harsh on the religious groups of young people in the West, like Krishna consciousness, which started in the 1960s in the United States. He says that they are “almost irrelevant” to society as a whole because “they don’t add anything to the culture that a society might live by.”Methodism, on the other hand, started out as a group of sects that gave the new urban working class rules and ideals that helped bring them together. Members of society as a whole. Also, its ideas “steadily spread to a much larger part of the population.” The same is not true of the new religious groups. Their members live in their own little worlds that are closed off from the rest of the world. There, they stress “hedonism,” the idea that present pleasure is real, letting go of restraint, and the “do your own thing” ethic.

Wilson thinks that their “exotic novelties” are nothing but self-indulgence, titillation, and short-lived thrills. He thinks that groups like Krishna Consciousness, which look for truth in Asian religions and focus on exploring the self, don’t have much to offer Western society. They just “offer a different way of life for the self-selected few, not a different culture for all of humanity.” Instead of helping to bring society’s morals up to date, they just give “dropouts” a sacred place to go. They don’t stop the process of a society becoming more secular. Instead, they are “likely to be nothing more than temporary and volatile gestures of defiance” in a secular society.

4. Making religious organisations less religious:

Herzberg thought that “authentic religion” meant a focus on the supernatural, a deep inner belief in the reality of supernatural power, a serious commitment to religious teachings, a strong element of theological doctrine, and a refusal to compromise religious beliefs and values with those of the larger society. This is exactly what Herzberg doesn’t find in America’s organised religions. He says, “On the American plan, religious pluralism means complete secularisation.” The big religious groups have put more emphasis on this world and less on the other world. They have moved away from traditional doctrine and interest in the supernatural, and they have changed their religious beliefs to fit in with society as a whole.This has made them more like the nonreligious world in which they are set.

Herberg says that even though this is a fairly high level of participation in religious institutions, it is driven by secular rather than religious issues. Herberg says that the main religions in America have become less religious over time. They look more and more like the American way of life and less and less like the Bible. For the average churchgoer, faith is “something that reassures him that everything American, his nature, his and himself, is basically right.” But Herberg thinks that this has little to do with what religion is all about.

Berger and Luckman mostly agree with herberg’s main point. Luckman says that denominations had to go through a “process of internal secularisation” in order to stay alive and do well in a world without religion.In a society that had changed, their views would no longer have a “plausibility structure” if they stuck to what they had always been taught. They would seem crazy, pointless, or conflicting in a new group of people. Religions have changed to fit with society, so their beliefs have stayed “plausible.” But for this to happen, a lot of religious material had to be given up.

Peter Berger compares American religious groups to things that can be bought and sold in a market. A successful sales campaign means that “the “supernatural” elements are pushed to the background, and the institution is “sold” under the label of values that fit with a secularised consciousness.”By changing their offering to meet the needs of consumers, or the needs of a secular society, denominations have been able to fill their churches.This is why Europe and the United States have different levels of organised religion. Even though cultures in Europe have changed, most religious institutions have stayed the same. Because of this, churches are empty. In the United States, religious organisations have changed to meet the needs of a changing society. As a result, churches are full.

Seymour m. has said that Herberg’s ideas about American religion are not very good. Lipset. He says that there are some signs that evangelical Christianity is growing faster than the more standard religions. The discussion about whether religious institutions should be secularised comes down to what an observer thinks is “authentic religion.” Herberg’s point of view may say as much or more about him and what he thinks is important than it does about how faith works in the US.

Sociologists agree that religion in the traditional church has been on the slide in most Western countries, with the United States being a notable exception. Sociologists of the 1800s predicted that faith would have less of an impact on society, and that is mostly what has happened.

With modernity getting stronger, has faith lost its pull?A lot of things would make it hard to believe such a conclusion:

First, supporters of the secularisation theory oversimplify the situation of religion in Britain and other Western countries.Many people’s lives are still driven and shaped by their religious and spiritual beliefs, even if they don’t choose to worship in a regular church.Some scholars have said that there is a trend towards “believing without belonging” (Davie). This means that people still believe in God or a greater power, but they don’t practise or grow their faith in organised religion.

Second, the Communist leadership can’t measure secularisation by the number of people who go to a mainstream Trinitarian church. All over the world, people are very interested in religion. Unfortunately, this is reflected by religiously motivated wars. Religion can be a source of comfort and strength, but it has also been and still is at the centre of some of the most intense social conflicts and battles.

Both for and against the idea of secularisation, there are things that can be shown. It seems clear that the best way to use the idea of secularisation is to explain how traditional religion is changing today, both in terms of its declining power and influence and its own secularising processes, such as how women and gay people are treated. In the same way that society as a whole is changing, many traditional religious organisations are also changing.

Above all, though, faith in the late modern world should be judged against a background of rapid change, instability, and diversity. Even though traditional types of religion are losing some ground, religion is still a very important part of our society.Religion, in both its old and new forms, is expected to stay popular for a long time. Religion gives a lot of people answers to hard questions about life and what it all means that can’t be answered properly from a rationalist point of view.

Religious revivalism (and becoming more secular):

Religious revivalism is a term for large-scale religious groups that start out of a lot of religious turmoil. Traditions in many religions include revivals that try to bring people back to the group and get them to care about it again.

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In the 18th century, methodists in the west were involved in revivalism. One of the most important revivalist movements in India, built on the Shuddhi movement, is the Arya Samaj.It tried to get Hindus who had left their faith for another one to come back. This had a big effect on Hindus, especially those from lower castes. They looked to other faiths in order to get ahead in society. They also gave women equal rights, especially when it came to schooling.

Early sociologists thought that traditional faith would get less and less important in the modern world. Marx, Durkheim, and Weber all thought that as societies became more modern and relied more on science and technology to control and explain the social world, a process of secularisation was going to happen.

Secularisation is the process by which faith loses its hold on different parts of society.

One of the most complicated parts of the sociology of religion is the argument over the secularisation thesis. Supporters of the secularisation thesis agree with the founders of sociology that religion is losing power and importance in the modern world. Opponents of the idea, on the other hand, say that religion is still a powerful force, even if it takes on new and strange forms.

The secularisation thesis is being tested by the fact that new religious groups are still very popular. People who disagree with the thesis point to how different and active new religious groups are and say that religion and spirituality are still important parts of modern life.

Religion is not going away, but it is going in new ways as traditional religions lose their hold. But not all experts agree. People who support the idea of secularisation point out that these groups don’t have much of an effect on society as a whole, even if they have a big effect on the lives of the people who join them. People are interested in a movement for a while, but then they move on to something else. This means that new religious groups are often disorganised and have a high turnover rate.They say that joining a new religious movement seems like little more than a hobby when compared to a real religious commitment.

Revivalist Catholicism in the U.S. and a glorification of Hindutva philosophy in India are starting to look like the biggest threats to the modern concept of pluralism. So, Rodney stark is right when he says that religion is not just a way to bring people together. It also helps keep people from getting along with each other. Taking this point of view into account, one can criticise Comet’s claim that the use of science in modern society will lead to the fall of religion. In fact, religion is a universal force that has changed over the course of human history. It has had different effects on the political, social, and cultural lives of people in many ways.

In modern times, the rise of religious awareness or the growth of religious revivalism is a major threat to the civil society’s diverse, secular, and egalitarian nature.

Why religious revivals happen:

In a globalised world, migration and urbanisation create new feelings of insecurity and isolation that push more people towards religion as a way to find their identities and validate their experiences.

Institutional religions are coming back to life all over the world. Religion has become more public in different parts of the world, both as an organisation and as a way to show who you are. The social psychology of communities and people who are going through socioeconomic and cultural changes can explain why religion is becoming more important and how new religious groups are forming.

One of these changes is that people are moving around the world in ways that have never happened before, and more and more people think that there are social, cultural, and economic differences around the world. There is a growing sense of multiple layers and a process of alienation that comes from multiple levels of “dislocations” of the self, society, and identity. Growing urbanisation, migration within and between countries, consumerism, and the aggressive creation of images in the context of the globalisation of the media have given people and groups a new sense of insecurity and alienation.

But the relative visibility of institutional religion may also be due to the growing importance of the “image” business, not because people are really changing from one religion to another. Religion takes many forms, and we often mix up institutionalised religion with other parts of religion, like personal experience, belief, theory, and so on.

Institutionalised religion is coming back in part because it has gotten a lot of attention from the media in the last ten years. Since institutionalised faiths have been around for a long time and have a lot of resources (money, network, people, structures, etc.), they can use the new media, especially TV, to get more attention. Even if the number of real Christians hasn’t grown, the amount of faith-based advertising on TV has grown a lot. And the increased visibility of “images” can lead to new delusions and illusions of a stronger faith without the necessary “spiritual” change in people’s lives.

Then there are new worries that come from social, economic, and political changes and the feeling of isolation that comes with them. For example, there is enough data to show that people who come from migrant communities tend to be more religious. Some of the reasons could have to do with society and culture. Just like I’m glad to meet an Indian or South Asian in Oslo, a Sudanese would be happy to meet another Sudanese. Most of the time, places of worship are the hubs of this kind of identity network. So, Tamils who live abroad might meet in a temple, Bangladeshis in a Bengali mosque, etc. This has to do with the fact that migrant groups are often left out (in terms of space, cultural comfort zone, etc.).

There are also economic and social worries that come up when someone loses their job or is alone in a mixed setting. All of these add to the search for a “sense of belonging,” and a person’s “identity” becomes more important when they feel left out in a certain situation. So many of the first generation of Malayali immigrants feel more deeply about “being a Malayali” than those who live in Kerala. This is why there are so many Malayali groups in the Gulf and elsewhere, as well as many literary awards and Malayalam blogs, etc. This also often has a religious or denominational (caste, creed, etc.) aspect in groups of people who are new to cities or who have moved there.

“Individualization” has made people feel more alone and insecure, which has led to a new sense of isolation. This depends on how old you are. If you are too young, you worry more about work, and if you are in your middle years, you worry about losing your job, getting sick, etc.

This feeling of insecurity has something to do with the new consumer culture and the globalisation of the economy. As a consumer who wants to “possess” certain comforts, one has certain expectations of oneself, and the new “hire and fire” culture that comes with globalisation adds to the feeling of insecurity. So, here, too, more young people and people over middle age tend to find comfort in new spiritual markets like Deepak Chopra and the telemarketing of pop-gurus of all kinds.

There is room for new network-based identity creation in countries and communities where old collective institutional structures are breaking down. For example, tribal communities in Africa, joint families, and the old neighbourhood church or temple are all examples of this. Networked religion and cell-churches grew by leaps and bounds in this kind of place. This process of social disintegration of old structures and the process of “collective spaces of sharing” also happened because of the unprecedented trend of urbanisation and the movement/migration of people across countries and the world. So, the changes from joint families to post-nuclear families and clan collectivism also led to new ways of becoming an individual and a lot of different ways of being uprooted and feeling alone as a result.

Institutionalised religions become “spiritual,” “solace,” or “feel-good” modules of customised goods in the spiritual marketplace. This network method of marketing helps to get people hooked on well-packaged and personalised psycho-pills of different kinds of religion. In the context of Christianity, the Charismatic movement and its network create “customised,” “personalised,” and “flexible” units of packaged and sold “spirituality” that a new market of more “lonely” and uncertain people gobbles up. That’s one reason why the prosperity gospel does so well in poor African areas in both Africa and the United States. “Healing” ministries, “miracle” crusades, and “prosperity gospels” all play on the new fears of people and places that are in a state of change.

We are in the middle of a social and cultural change that has never been seen before in the history of the world. During these times of change, insecurity and feeling like you don’t belong take on new social, economic, and political forms. This also gives people a new feeling of being different. On a personal level, the easiest way to find a sense of “belonging” is to identify with groups that have a similar sense of belonging. This sense of belonging can be based on race, church, or creed. Institutionalised faith is the biggest and oldest way for people to feel like they belong. Institutionalised religion “serves” its new “clients” by giving them the same old pill, but in new ways that work with the new technology, media, and globalised network.

Then there is a new sense of political insecurity that comes from “accentuated identities” (majority and minority) that make people feel insecure. For example, when young Australians have trouble finding jobs, they may feel that Indians are taking their jobs, which makes Indians start to organise based on being Indian.

When people are in the minority, identities that stand out like this can make them defensive. So, a young Muslim in Europe or the UK may feel more ‘Muslim’ than a Muslim in Dubai. Christians in India or China might feel “less Christian” than Christians in Europe. The ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the new political problems with Iran and North Korea are all effects of the new geopolitics after the cold war. And here, too, colonialism and imperialism play out in different ways to remind us of recent events.

After the end of the Cold War, politics changed from “ideological” wars to “identity” wars. In migrant groups, the political economy of these identities is brought out more. When identity, whether it’s soft or hard, is a common theme in both macro and micro politics, people often fall back on the easiest and most available way to show who they are. So, even Muslims who have a more moderate or open view of religion are becoming more and more sure of their “Muslim” identity. There is a claim of ‘Hindu’ identity in places where Hindus are in the minority. Most of the time, these kinds of claims of identity are cultural defences that come from social and cultural fears and a feeling of being alone.

Fundamentalism:

Fundamentalism emphasises that a scripture, like the Bible, the Granths, the Gita, or the Quran, is always right when it comes to questions of faith and doctrine. The people who believe in it take it literally as a record of real events. Because of this, followers sometimes take a militant stance, which is often accompanied or followed by a desire for a separate country. In the Bible, this is also sometimes seen as a prediction.

Fundamentalism removes a group from the rest of society. But society tries to stop or get rid of fundamentalists through the cops, the army, and other things. This is especially true if they start to break the law. Communalism is linked to violent outbursts and riots, which may not be aimed at anything in particular (other than gaining power or dominance for the group).

Fundamentalism, on the other hand, is an organised, all-encompassing movement that aims to promote society’s goals, especially as they relate to religion. Operational strategy can be used and moved in both calm and warlike ways.

Lionel Caplan, a social anthropologist, wrote in 1987 that fundamentalism is the view that sacred texts don’t change over time and that they can be used in all kinds of situations. Fundamentalism is a word that is often used to describe a wide range of faith groups around the world.

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Fundamentalists’ most important trait is their belief that a connection with God, Allah, or some other supernatural force can solve personal and social issues. Fundamentalists also often want to “bring the wider culture back to its religious roots.”

Fundamentalists generally think of history as “a process of decline from an original ideal state” that includes “the betrayal of fundamental principles.”

In their daily lives, fundamentalists do not know the difference between what is holy and what is not. Everything is ruled by religious beliefs.

So, it’s not surprising that, when things change quickly, many people turn to religion to find answers and calm. The most obvious example of this might be fundamentalism.But religious responses to change are becoming more and more new and strange. These include new religious groups, cults, sects, and ‘New Age’ activities. Even though these groups may not “look like” religion at first glance, many people who disagree with the secularisation theory think that they show how religious beliefs have changed in response to big changes in society.

Another sign that secularisation has not won in the modern world is that religious radicalism is still strong.Fundamentalism is the strict adherence to a set of beliefs or ideals. The word can be used in many different ways to describe this. Religious fundamentalism is the way that religious groups act when they want basic scriptures or tests to be taken literally and think that the doctrines that come out of these readings should be applied to all parts of social, economic, and political life.

Religious fundamentalists think that there is only one way to see the world, and that is their own way. They think that there is no room for ambiguity or different meanings.In religious fundamentalist movements, only a small group of “interpreters,” like priests, pastors, or other religious leaders, are allowed to know the exact meanings of religious texts. This gives these leaders a lot of power, not just in religious issues but also in everyday matters. Religious fundamentalists have become strong political figures in opposition movements, in mainstream political parties (including in the U.S.), and as heads of state (for example, in Iran).

Religious fundamentalism is a fairly new idea. Only in the last two or three decades has the word “fundamentalism” become popular.It has mostly come about because of globalisation. As the forces of modernization slowly destroy traditional parts of society, like the nuclear family and the idea that men are in charge of women, fundamentalism has grown up to defend custom.

Fundamentalism has these parts:

Fundamentalism as an idea was first used between 1910 and 1915, when 12 books called “The Fundamentals” were written by unknown authors.In the early 1920s, this word was used in print to describe a group of strict Protestants in North America. These groups were worried about how the Bible was being read by liberals.The conservative insisted on some “fundamentals” of faith because he was scared of how the liberals interpreted the Bible. Some of these beliefs were that God was born from a woman, that Jesus was physically resurrected, and that the Bible couldn’t be wrong.As we’ve already said, these and other basics were written down in 12 pamphlets called The Fundamentals that were released between 1910 and 1915.So, the word “fundamentalism” started to be used in a specific way.So, an essential movement is one that sees the infallibility of a scripture as the most important thing and uses it as a way to live. Some conservatives say that the Bible doesn’t even need to be interpreted because it’s clear what it means. Most of the time, this means that they can’t stand any kind of argument or dissent. People worry that conservatives are narrow-minded and prejudiced.

T.N. Madan pointed out in 1993 that the word “fundamentalism” is used a lot in the modern world. He says it means a wide range of rules, beliefs, and attitudes that either judge fundamentalists or condemn them right out. People sometimes use this word instead of communalism when they shouldn’t. In fact, extremism has become a catch-all word. That means that different fundamental trends around the world are not the same, but are different in different ways. But they have a ‘family’ look in common.

Fundamentalist parties are made up of groups of people. They are usually led by guys who have a lot of charisma. So, Ayatollah Khomeini was in charge of the 1979 Iranian movement, and Sant Bhinderanwale (Madan) was in charge of the Sikh religious movement.Leaders of fundamentalist groups do not have to be religious leaders.So, maulana Maududi, who started the Jamati Islami in India, was a reporter. K.B. Hedgewar was a doctor and started the Rastriya Sewak Sangh.

Fundamentalists are realistic people who try to get rid of all the bad things in their way of life.They don’t like any kind of bad behaviour. Swami Dayanand’s criticism of the traditional, superstitious way of life is an example of this. So, Maududi called the current Muslim way of life “ignorant,” and Bhindranwale talked about the “fallen” Sikhs who don’t keep the traditional Sikh way of life and take off their beards and hair.So, basic movements aren’t just about religion and practises; they’re also about ways of living in general.

So, fundamentalist organisations are a reaction to what the people in them, including their leaders and followers, see as a crisis.The problem needs to be fixed right away. The basic plan is shown as a return to the way things were in the beginning. That is, to the basics as they are understood today. Which meet the wants of today. This usually includes picking and choosing which parts of tradition to use. This is shown very well by the story of Dayanand. When Christian preachers asked him to become a Christian, he tried to make Hinduism more like Christianity. He said that the Vedas were the only real way to be a Hindu, and he called people back to the Vedas. In Iran, Khomeini came up with the idea of an Islamic state ruled by jurists. Again, Bhindranwale put more weight on the teachings of guru Gobind Singh than on those of his direct followers. Fundamentalism is about making claims about spiritual authority and criticising the society. A third important factor is the desire for political power.

The desire of political power is a very important part of fundamentalism, because without it, revivalism would be the case.In north India, the Samajists were strong supporters of their country, and the movement had political undertones. Again, the RSS, which has been called a cultural group, has had strong ties with political parties, including the Sangh Parivar, which is a group of political parties. This article talks about both the culture and political sides of Hindu nationalism. This is why fundamentalist groups often turn violent and why secularism is not accepted as a way of life. They’re totalitarian and won’t let anyone disagree with them. But these groups also play an important part in modern society that can’t be overlooked. So, a fair intellectual study should take fundamentalism into account as a separate category. It is not theocracy or communism from the past.

Politics, religion, and education versus fundamentalism: Fundamentalists don’t like the idea of keeping religion out of politics and the government. People say that God is all-powerful and that he rules over politics. If this is true, how can the state be outside of the holy realm?They believe that schools and colleges need to have religious control over what is taught.Fundamentalists want people to stay away from modern state-run schools that don’t teach in the usual religious way.Fundamentalist Muslims say that all rules should come from the Koran and the sunnah.They offer harsh punishments like having their hands and feet tied together, being flogged in public, and so on. For crime done.American fanatics want to put people to death for killing, adultery, sodomy, raping, being gay, kidnapping, etc.Fundamentalism is against science, and it doesn’t believe that human information outside of religion is valid.

Fundamentalism vs. equality of religions: Fundamentalists don’t think that all religions are equal. They talk about how false faiths should not be treated the same as the real one. In a similar way, they disagree with the idea that all faiths should be the same. Reason, logic, humanism, and secularism are all things they don’t like. The fundamentalists also don’t like the idea of authority, democracy, or a government based on the Constitution.

Fundamentalism in relation to communalism:

The Indian situation is the best way to explain what communalism is. In India, communalism grew through three stages:

First step: It started in the last quarter of the 1800s. It was said that people who follow the same church share more than just their religion. They also share political, economic, social, and cultural interests. It led to the idea that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians all live in different parts of India and make up different groups.

Second stage: It started at the beginning of the 20th century. The communists said that different religions’ followers have different economic and political goals than other religions’ followers. Some liberal communalists also said that people of different religions have some economic and political goals in common.

In the third stage, the idea that Hindus and Muslims could never live together was widespread. They will never be one country. In reality, what was good for Hindus was bad for Muslims, and what was good for Muslims was bad for Hindus, and so on.

Fundamentalism and Communism have some things in common:

  • Both of them are against the idea that faith should be kept out of politics and the government.
  • Both don’t want all groups to be one.
  • Both want to be in charge of schooling.
  • Both want to bring back the ideals and greatness of the past.
  • Both of them think that starting a church led to people becoming almost perfect.
  • Both disagree with secularism:

Different points of view:

In a society with many religions, fundamentalists tend to be communal, but communalists are not fundamentalists. As an example, communal groups in India like the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, the BJP, the Akali Dal, etc. are not fundamentalist.

Fundamentalists really want to go back to the way things were in the past, while communalists are more interested in the present.

Fundamentalists are very religious and base their whole beliefs on religion. On the other hand, communalists only use religion to gain political power.

Fundamentalists want to turn the whole world into a Christian, Muslim, or Hindu country. Communists just want to make their own society more like a village.

Fundamentalism around the world:

Fundamentalism in Iran:

In Iran in the 1800s, the Pahalvi family was formed, and colonel Rajja Khan became king with the help of the British. Since the British needed oil, they went to Iran because it had a lot of oil. In order to take advantage of this resource, they used their own people, which made the Iranian people unhappy. In the meantime, America also joined. With the help of the British and the Americans, a triangle of cooperation formed, and King Khan began modernising the country by putting Madrassas and Maqatabs under the direction of the Central Administration.

All of these things made a lot of Iranians very unhappy. To protect their own interests, they went to the places of worship. Under the direction of Ayyatullah Khomeini, their group Action overthrew King Khan and set up a new government in which religion played a big role. This was the start of fanaticism.

In the U.S.:

Non-Religious Right Movement in America: Protestant Fundamentalism. The goal of this movement was to show how important the Protestant religion was and to stop modern practises that were very rude. They hurt national ideals and made it harder for people to move around. “Bring America Back Again” was their motto. This shows how fundamentalist the U.S. is.

Fundamentalism in Taliban regime:

Afghanistan is the most recent place where extremism can be seen. Women had to go through a lot of hard things. The whole system was messed up on the political, economic, and social levels.

Fundamentalism in Pakistan:

Fundamentalism kept coming up in Pakistan from time to time, but the democratic government did a lot to fight it.

Conclusion

Fundamentalism is not just a part of one faith; Christians, Muslims, Jains, Hindus, and Sikhs are all free to practise it. Fundamentalists want to go back to the original ideas and meanings that were given to a faith in its first text. There is no room for judgement. Any meaning that was made should be thrown out. These are the words of God. Because of this, they are circular, clear, and don’t change. For example, for Christian fundamentalists old and new testaments are God’s own words, for Muslim fundamentalist Karan and Sunnah, for Hindus the Vedas, for Sikh the Gurbabni. In fact, fundamentalists think that any way to understand such a text is blasphemous. Fundamentalists considers that the life should be governed by the religion as written in the tests. Gary North, one of the American fundamentalist said that Bible contains solutions to all problems a person faces today in his/her daily. According to Abdul-Jawed Yasin, religion is the divine way drawn by God for man to solve his economic affairs, social affairs, political affairs, legislative affairs, psychological affairs, internal affairs, external affairs and any other affair that it may have. A muslim fundamentalist say “God’s final religion contains all the legislation required”.