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In our supposedly secular age governed by reason and technoogy, fundamentalism has emerged as an overwhelming force in every major world religion. Why? This is the fascinating, disturbing question that bestselling author Karen Armstrong addresses in her brilliant new book The Battle for God. Writing with the broaed perspective and deep udnerstanding of human spirituality that won huge audiences for A History of God, Armstrong illustrates how the spread of militant piety is a phenomenon peculiar to our moment in history. Contrary to popular belif, fundamentalism is not a throwback to some ancient form of religion but rather a response to the spiritual crisis of the modern world. As Armstrong argues, the collapse of a piety rooted in myth and cult during the Enlightenment forced people of faith to grasp for new ways of being religious--and fundamentalism was born. Armstrong focuses here on three fundamentalist movements: Protestant fundamentalism in Merican, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran--exploring how each has developed its own unique way of resisting the assaults of modernity.
Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows readers how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish.