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The Freedom to do God's Will

Are all religious fundamentalists fanatics, or terrorists? Do they all oppress women? Is religious fundamentalism always incompatible with human tights and postive social change? In the wake of the events of September 11th 2001, it is disturbingly clear that no government or individual can afford to ignore religious fundamentalism. Religious faith in the modern world is a political statement, from the hot spots of Al Qaeda's Afghanistan to the simmering religious tensions and explosive violence igniting the streets of Israel, Palestine, India and even the urban melting-pots of the US and Europe. But how does fundamentalism function across cultural and social boundaries? Are all faiths equally susceptible to it? How can we recognize fundamentalism, and is it always by its nature harmful or wrong? Under the auspices of top international commentators, The Freedom to do God's Will considers the global impact of fundamentalism on religious traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Christianity, Judasim and Islam. With special reference to human rights issues, women's rights and the influence of social factors, it brings a new dimension to a field of study often dominated by purely religious or political perspectives, whilst effectively challenging received ideas about the violence and conservatism of fundamentalist movements. Revealingly illustrated with original case studies, 10 investigative essays from a multicultural panel of experts, each with specific local and academic knowledge of the faiths and issues they discuss, offer an intimate and highly specific portrait of why and how fundamentalism occurs. Gerrie ter Haar, Institute of Social Studies; Abdullahi Ahmed An-na'im, Emory University, Georgia; Sharifah Zaleha binti Syed Hassan, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia; Alice Sha
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Table of Contents

Gerrie ter Haar, Institute of Social Studies, Religious Fundamentalism and Social Change; Abdullahi Ahmed An-na'im, Emory University, Georgia, Islamic Fundamentalism and Social Change; Sharifah Zaleha binti Syed Hassan, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, Strategies to Public Participation: Women and Islamic fundamentalism in Malaysia; Alice Shalvi, Seminary of Judaic Studies, Jerusalem, 'Renew Our Days as of Old'; Nancy T. Ammerman, Hartford Seminary, Re-Awakening a Sleeping Giant; Walter E. A. van Beek, University of Utrecht; Pathways of Fundamentalization; H. L. Seneviratne, University of Virginia, The Monk's New Robes; Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University, Being Hindu and/or Governing India?; R. Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame, Religions, Human Rights and Social Change; James J. Busuttil, Institute of Social Studies, Policy Responses to Religious Fundamentalism

About the Author

Gerrie ter Haar is Professor of Religion, Human Rights and Social Change at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and an expert on the history of religions. James J. Busuttil, a former Wall Street lawyer and legal advisor with the US Department of State, is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Social Studies and editor of the bi-monthly Human Rights Case Digest.

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