Friday, April 2, 2004

opening salvo

In the coming weeks and months, as I construct (write is far too . . . well write doesn't quite cover what I am trying to do with my thesis) my thesis, I'm going to begin posting excerpts and analysis. My thesis topic is issues of geographic identity in right-wing movements here in the US and over in the UK and France, although I may cut France out depending on how busy I get this summer. A significant portion of it is devoted to religious fundamentalism, nearly all of it Protestant, and largely from the American right. My original idea was to connect the global rise of religious fundamentalism with fascism---it has many of the earmarks. Like the 30s, fundamentalism worldwide is growing largely independent of one another. All are closely related to the various societies that they pop out of. I thought this was a good idea--the survey would cover the United States, the UK, France, the Middle East and Islamic world (as the two are not necessarily congruent), and India. I have some ideas on China but they don't quite fit because officially, the Chinese aren't religious. My advisor thought this was more than needed. Graduate school though, I'll tackle it.

I've floated some trial ballons. Another one here. Registration may be required. The first dates from September 2003. The second dates from Feburary 2003 and is a rewrite of a post from just before New Years, 2003.

Both got their share of letters. Now the campus thinks I'm a raving atheist, which is farthest from the truth.
As a research interest fundamentalism terrifies me. That is why I study it. Connecting it to fascism (research interest that terrifies me) is what I'm hoping to do with what I'm writing, at least for the American part of my writings. And as modernity (remember, fascism was a huge reaction against liberalism and modernity) does not give people what they want, they'll look for something simpler. More fundamental. Twisting religion provides that simple fundamental. Hence---fundamentalism. It won't be pretty either. Thus all the more reason for me to study it. I don't know if I want to stop it. Indeed it may be unstoppable. I do know I want people to be aware of what's going on.

More later.

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