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Fundamentalism or TraditionChristianity after Secularism$
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Aristotle Papanikolaou and George E. Demacopoulos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285792

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285792.001.0001

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Fundamentalism: Not Just a Cautionary Tale

Fundamentalism: Not Just a Cautionary Tale

(p.133) Fundamentalism: Not Just a Cautionary Tale
Fundamentalism or Tradition

Edith M. Humphrey

Fordham University Press

Paradox attends the Biblical thread concerning foundations and the one true foundation, Christ—the unique divine cornerstone foundation is also a means of scandal to those who reject him. In this essay, Humphrey traces the history of the term “fundamentalism” from its Scriptural and Patristic reference to the person of Jesus Christ and/or the tradition of the Church, through the self-ascription of Protestant scholars of various denominations seeking an inclusive Christian minimalism, and into the pejorative use against sectarian evangelical Christians and political terrorists in the late twentieth century. In the end, the pejorative use of the term is too broad to offer us anything but a caricature, and “fundamentalism,” whatever it means, is more vilified than carefully explained or answered. She concludes by arguing that this term cannot reasonably be used against tradition-driven, maximalist Catholic or Orthodox Christians, and she suggests that its deployment signals a need for less conservative Christians to confront the issues raised by “fundamentalists” rather than resort to ad hominem attacks.

Keywords:   James Barr, Georges Florovsky, foundation (Greek: themelios), fundamentalist, New Testament, Old Calendrists, Opus Dei, Orthodoxy, Protestant, Roman Catholic Traditionalists

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