Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Louis HoffmanEmail author
  • Erica Palmer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_254

The term fundamentalism has been associated with a variety of meanings since its inception into the English language during the early twentieth century through Christianity. At the outset, it was intended to convey a belief in the need to return to the fundamentals of faith (González 1985). Increasingly, fundamentalism has been associated with a narrow, rigid approach to religious belief across various world religions. It is also commonly associated with conservative religious, and sometimes political, beliefs. Fundamentalism, which originated as a term within Christianity, is now often applied to Islamic, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, and other religious groups. When used in popular culture today, fundamentalism often is intended to have a pejorative connotation to it. When considering fundamentalism, it is important to recognize how its meaning in popular, religious, and scholarly literature has evolved overtime.

Origins of Fundamentalism

The term fundamentalism emerged in the 1800s as a...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saybrook UniversityOaklandUSA
  2. 2.AspenPointeColorado SpringsUSA