Friday, December 23, 2005


Very interesting interview with Karen Armstrong, whose books A History of God and The Battle for God I highly recommend.

Armstrong on religious fundamentalist movements:
Most of them began in fear - a fear of annihilation. All groups are convinced that modern secular liberalist society is going to wipe them out.

This is true across the board.

When they feel that their backs are against a wall, that's when they become aggressive, defensive and worried.

A profound hinging on this is a loss of identity - people not knowing where they are and feeling their values have been marginalised and kicked out of the way.

This produces a sense of frustration and impotent rage. They have a desire to bring God and all religion back to centre stage.

This expresses itself in an exaggerated vision of the enemy; all of them have cultivated blown-up versions of the enemy which reflects a great deal of their own sense of menace.


It has gradually been making its way to the forefront and many in the US feel alienated by the secularist, intellectualist, and sophisticated discourse of New York, Harvard, Yale and Washington, DC.

Many people in small town America have for a very long time felt colonised by this ideology, just as colonised as people in Egypt felt by the British or in Syria by the French.

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