"A highly readable and informative book that moves scholarship on fundamentalism forward. The authors present fundamentalist thought as a meaning system that is embedded within sociocultural, historical, and theological contexts. I highly recommend this creative and well-researched work to all students of fundamentalism seeking a better understanding of an often-misunderstood phenomenon."--Margaret M. Poloma, PhD, Department of Sociology (Emeritus), University of Akron; author of Main Street Mystics
"Hood, Hill, and Williamson have produced a remarkable book outlining a social psychological theory of fundamentalism, and applying this theory to historical and contemporary religious movements. Their work is much more sociologically informed and culturally grounded than prior psychological research focusing on Adorno’s authoritarian personality model. Indeed, their theory of fundamentalism is rooted in human needs for cognitive coherence, showing how fundamentalist religion provides accessible belief systems with comprehensive explanations for meaning and purpose....This is an important work, and it is easily the best work in the psychology of religion in a decade."/m-/Darren E. Sherkat, PhD, Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University
"This book represents a major advance in our understanding of fundamentalism, a subject ever more urgent in our post-9/11 world. The authors examine fundamentalism through solid psychological theory, and illustrate this theoretical perspective by examining a variety of specific religious fundamentalisms. Essential reading for students of religion, psychology, and sociology."--Crystal L. Park, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut
"This is a very important contribution to the psychology of religion literature and, more broadly, to religious scholarship. There have been very few treatments of Protestant fundamentalism that are more than merely a perpetuation of stereotypes. The authors provide a unique and vital perspective on the forms and functions of fundamentalism and its relevance in the world today. Any course on religion from a social science perspective should consider this text."--Robert A. Emmons, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis
"This is superior-quality scholarship that beautifully accomplishes two difficult goals under the same cover. First, the volume presents psychological concepts that are ideal for understanding the personal, social-psychological, and behavioral aspects of religious fundamentalism. Second, it provides rich, instructive, and very interesting information about a range of fundamentalist Christian and Muslim groups. This material is revealing and will be new to most readers. The skillful application of the psychological concepts to the cases both increases one's sense of their depth and reach, and enriches one's understanding of the cases themselves. Highly recommended for courses in the psychology of religion or applied social psychology."--Raymond F. Paloutzian, PhD, Department of Psychology, Westmont College
"A work of disciplined scholarship that not only examines the reality of religious fundamentalism from a psychological perspective but also provides richly detailed histories of the development of a number of fundamentalist religious traditions....Great value not only for students of religion and the social sciences but for anyone who is trying to gain a better understanding of the worldview driving some of the terrorist actions in the Middle East."
"The authors provide a scholarly and well-researched approach to the understanding of fundamentalism as a system of meaning....The scholarship in The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism is exceptional,....The definition and model of fundamentalism are unique, and within the bounds of what the authors state that they propose to do, the results are exceptional....The book is a rich source of information and ideas, and it provides grounding for further theoretical and empirical research in this profoundly important area for the modern world."