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Pious Passion

Pious Passion: The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran

Martin Riesèbrodt
Translated from the German by Don Reneau
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Pious Passion
    Book Description:

    Martin Riesebrodt's unconventional study provides an extraordinary look at religious fundamentalism. Comparing two seemingly disparate movements—in early twentieth-century United States and 1960s and 1970s Iran—he examines why these movements arose and developed. He sees them not simply as protests against "modernity" per se, but as a social and moral community's mobilization against its own marginalization and threats to its way of life. These movements protested against the hallmarks of industrialization and sought to transmit conservative cultural models to the next generation. Fundamentalists desired a return to an "authentic" social order governed by God's law, one bound by patriarchal structures of authority and morality. Both movements advocated a strict gender dualism and were preoccupied with controlling the female body, which was viewed as the major threat to public morality.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91142-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Fundamentalism as a Sociological Problem
    (pp. 1-32)

    Since the end of the 1970s, “fundamentalism” has rapidly become a catchword in academic and journalistic discourse. The term is used primarily to designate the religious protest movements and militant groups whose radical demands and spectacular actions have dramatically altered political relations, above all in Islamic countries, but also in Israel, the United States, and South and East Asia.

    Inside the revolutionary coalition in Iran that toppled the shah in 1979, Shi’ite clergy and its followers proved the strongest force, establishing an Islamic republic under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini. In the same year Sunni fundamentalists occupied the Great Mosque...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Protestant Fundamentalism in the United States, 1910–1928
    (pp. 33-99)

    Radical-traditionalist reactions to rapid social change are found in all religions of salvation and redemption. In societies predominantly influenced by Christianity, however, different reactions occur depending on whether the dominant faith is Catholicism, Lutheranism, or ascetic Protestantism. Catholic countries have produced mainly right-wing radical movements with anti-Christian to clerical leanings; in Lutheran countries we find mainly secular right-wing radical movements. Fundamentalist mass movements, in contrast, have formed primarily in societies strongly stamped byascetic Protestantism,that is, by Calvinism and the Baptist sects.

    How are these different developments to be explained? Certainly, religious doctrines, ethics, and ideologies have roles. But I...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Shi’ite Fundamentalism Iran, 1961–1979
    (pp. 100-175)

    Islam is not static, but as in other religions its dogma and practices have been subject to change in response to transformations in society, politics, and the economy. Islam appears differently in Indonesia than in Morocco, in Sunni countries differently than in Shi’ite, in the countryside differently than in the city. As in Christian countries differences in structural conditions either promote or hinder the rise of fundamentalist movements and influence the form fundamentalism takes.

    Among such structural conditions are the autonomy of religion in relation to the state, the degree of religious legitimacy of the political regime, and the positions...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Fundamentalism as Radical Patriarchalism
    (pp. 176-208)

    The goal of this work has been to investigate fundamentalism as an urban protest movement in the United States (1910–1928) and Iran (1961–1979). This was intended to test whether such a cross-cultural comparison makes sense and is useful for other societies and cultures. We have investigated the ideology, carriers, and causes of mobilization of two fundamentalist movements. The overall design makes it obvious that the generalizations herein apply to the two cases under investigation with no further claim to validity. The term fundamentalism as used here, therefore, refers to the characteristics of a “rational fundamentalism of world mastery”...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 209-230)
  9. References
    (pp. 231-256)
  10. Index
    (pp. 257-262)