Theologians Analyze Religious Fundamentalism

Pontifical Urban University Dedicates a Volume to the Phenomenon

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ROME, NOV. 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- What are the implications of religious fundamentalism for the mission?



Fifteen scholars analyze this question in articles published in Euntes Docente, the review of the Urban University, which dedicates a whole issue to religious fundamentalism.

The Catholic theological approach to religious fundamentalism includes philosophical, historical, theological and psychological perspectives as well as the contribution of experts on diverse religious traditions.

Gaspare Mura, the editor, received contributions from theologians such as Cardinal Georges Cottier, Papal Household theologian; Giuseppe Lorizio, professor of fundamental theology of the Lateran University; and Father Maurice Borrmans, professor of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

Referring to "John Paul II's magisterium on the purification of the memory, the study analyzes the profound reasons why the proclamation of the truth proper to the Christian message can never be accompanied by violence," the editor clarifies.

Professor Mura, of the Urban University, says that "religious fundamentalism arises in the Christian environment as a reaction to Darwinian theories on evolution and notions of progress."

According to specialist Guido Miglietta, a professor at several pontifical universities, "the fundamentalist believes he possesses the truth in an exclusive way, guards his faith as an instrument of identification, and wishes to impose it as a universal model."

Cardinal Cottier analyzes what he calls "the purification of the memory and Christian fundamentalism." According to him, "the fundamentalist mentality is recognized in the propensity to put the primary and secondary on the same plane, giving disproportionate importance to marginal elements."

For Cardinal Cottier, "the evil that fundamentalists feel the duty to combat is always an evil whose culprits are always the others."