RE: HEA report on religion and mental health

Gatherer, D. (
Tue, 19 Oct 1999 11:47:42 +0200

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 11:47:42 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: HEA report on religion and mental health
To: "''" <>

Fundamentalist behaviour is applicable to Darwin as well

I've often heard this said, but I don't think it's true. If you can find an
example of 'fundamentalist' Darwinism, please show it to me. I don't think
it's possible to be fundamentalist about science, although of course it is
possible to have a naive regard for its social benefits.

Also it's worth mentioning that fundamentalism in religion is quite new.
The word was first used by conservative Presbyterians in the US in the
1920s, and revolved around a statement of faith called "The Fundamentals".
The target of original fundamentalist displeasure was liberal theology in
the Presbyterian churches of America. Likewise, Islamic 'fundamentalism'
evolved around the same time in Saudi Arabia, and only later (in the 1950s)
spread to those parts of the world where it is best known today.

Karen Armstrong thinks that fundamentalism may be associated with
working-class literacy, just as middle-class literacy helped to spark off
the Reformation in the 16th century. Anyway, that's another story.

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