Reading: Christian Fundamentalism

Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among British and American Protestants[1][2] as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism. Fundamentalists argued that 19th-century modernist theologians had misinterpreted or rejected certain doctrines, especially biblical inerrancy, which they considered the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

[3] Fundamentalists are almost always described as having a literal interpretation of the Bible. A few scholars label Catholics who reject modern theology in favor of more traditional doctrines fundamentalists.[4] Scholars debate how much the terms "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" are synonymous.[5] In keeping with traditional Christian doctrines concerning biblical interpretation, the role of Jesus in the Bible, and the role of the church in society, fundamentalists usually believe in a core of Christian beliefs which include the historical accuracy of the Bible and all of the events which are recorded in it as well as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.[6]

Interpretations of Christian fundamentalism have changed over time.[7] Fundamentalism as a movement manifested in various denominations with various theologies, rather than a single denomination or systematic theology. It became active in the 1910s after the release of The Fundamentals, a twelve-volume set of essays, apologetic and polemic, written by conservative Protestant theologians to defend what they saw as Protestant orthodoxy. The movement became more organized within U.S. Protestant churches in the 1920s, especially with Baptists and Presbyterians.

Many churches that embraced fundamentalism adopted a militant attitude with regard to their core beliefs and combined Princeton theology with Dispensationalism.[2] Since 1930, many fundamentalist churches have been represented by the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (renamed IFCA International in 1996), which holds to biblical inerrancy.


The term fundamentalism was coined by Baptist editor Curtis Lee Laws in 1920 to designate Protestants who were ready "to do battle royal for the fundamentals".[8] The term was quickly adopted by all sides. Laws borrowed it from the title of a series of essays published between 1910 and 1915 called The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth. The term "fundamentalism" entered the English language in 1922, and it is often capitalized when it is used to refer to the religious movement.[1]

The term fundamentalist is controversial in the 21st century, because it connotes religious extremism, especially when such labeling is applied beyond the movement which coined the term or beyond those who self-identify as fundamentalists today. Some who hold certain, but not all beliefs in common with the original fundamentalist movement reject the label "fundamentalism", because they consider it too pejorative,[9] while others consider it a banner of pride. Such Christians prefer to use the term fundamental, as opposed to fundamentalist (e.g., Independent Fundamental Baptist and Independent Fundamental Churches of America).[10] The term is sometimes confused with Christian legalism.[11][12]In parts of the United Kingdom, using the term fundamentalist with the intent to stir up religious hatred is a violation of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006.


Fundamentalism came from multiple streams in British and American theologies during the 19th century.[13] According to authors Robert D. Woodberry and Christian S. Smith,

Following the Civil War, tensions developed between Northern evangelical leaders over Darwinism and higher biblical criticism; Southerners remained unified in their opposition to both (Marsden 1980, 1991). Modernists attempted to update Christianity to match their view of science. They denied biblical miracles and argued that God manifests himself through the social evolution of society. Conservatives resisted these changes. These latent tensions rose to the surface after World War I in what came to be called the fundamentalist/modernist split.[14]

However, the split does not mean that there were just two groups, modernists and fundamentalists. There were also people who considered themselves neo-evangelicals, separating themselves from the extreme components of fundamentalism. These neo-evangelicals also wanted to separate themselves from both the fundamentalist movement and the mainstream evangelical movement due to their anti-intellectual approaches.[14]


The first important stream was Evangelicalism which emerged in the revivals of the First and Second Great Awakenings in America and the Methodist movement in England in the period from 1730–1840. They in turn were influenced by the Pietist movement in Germany. Church historian Randall Balmer explains that:

Evangelicalism itself, I believe, is a quintessentially North American phenomenon, deriving as it did from the confluence of Pietism, Presbyterianism, and the vestiges of Puritanism. Evangelicalism picked up the peculiar characteristics from each strain – warmhearted spirituality from the Pietists (for instance), doctrinal precisionism from the Presbyterians, and individualistic introspection from the Puritans – even as the North American context itself has profoundly shaped the various manifestations of evangelicalism: fundamentalism, neo-evangelicalism, the holiness movementPentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and various forms of African-American and Hispanic evangelicalism.[15]


A second stream was Dispensationalism, a new interpretation of the Bible developed in the 1830s in England. John Nelson Darby's ideas were disseminated by the notes and commentaries in the widely used Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909. Dispensationalism was a millenarian theory that divided all of time into seven different stages, called "dispensations", which were seen as stages of God's revelation. At the end of each stage, according to this theory, God punished the particular peoples who were involved in each dispensation for their failure to fulfill the requirements which they were under during its duration. Increasing secularismliberalism, and immorality in the 1920s were believed to be signs that humanity had again failed God's test. Dispensationalists held to a form of eschatology which advocated the belief that the world was on the verge of the last stage, known as the Great Tribulation in which a final battle will take place at Armageddon (the valley of Megiddo), followed by Christ's return, his 1,000-year reign on earth, a final rebellion and then a final judgment, after which all mankind, devils and angels will be divided into either Heaven or the Lake of Fire.[16]

Princeton Theology (biblical inerrancy)

Princeton Seminary in the 1800s
Main article: Princeton Theology

A third stream was Princeton Theology, which responded to higher criticism of the Bible by developing from the 1840s to 1920 the doctrine of inerrancy. This doctrine, also called biblical inerrancy, stated that the Bible was divinely inspired, religiously authoritative, and without error.[17][18] The Princeton Seminary professor of Theology Charles Hodge insisted that the Bible was inerrant because God inspired or "breathed" his exact thoughts into the biblical writers (2 Timothy 3:16). Princeton theologians believed that the Bible should be read differently from any other historical document, and they also believed that Christian modernism and liberalism led people to Hell just like non-Christian religions.[16]

Biblical inerrancy was a particularly significant rallying point for fundamentalists.[19] This approach to the Bible is associated with conservativeevangelical hermeneutical approaches to Scripture ranging from the historical-grammatical method to biblical literalism.[20]

The Fundamentals and modernism

Main article: The Fundamentals

A fourth stream—the immediate spark—was the 12-volume study The Fundamentals, published 1910–1915.[21] Sponsors subsidized the free distribution of over three million individual volumes to clergy, laymen and libraries. It[22] stressed several core beliefs, including:

Like Princeton Theology, The Fundamentals reflected growing opposition among many evangelical Christians towards higher criticism of the Bible and modernism.

Changing interpretations

A Christian Demonstrator Preaching at Bele Chere.

The interpretations given the fundamentalist movement have changed over time, with most older interpretations being based on the concepts of social displacement or cultural lag.[7] Some in the 1930s, including H. Richard Niebuhr, understood the conflict between fundamentalism and modernism to be part of a broader social conflict between the cities and the country.[7] In this view the fundamentalists were country and small-town dwellers who were reacting against the progressivism of city dwellers.[7] Fundamentalism was seen as a form of anti-intellectualism during the 1950s; in the early 1960s American intellectual and historian Richard Hofstadter interpreted it in terms of status anxiety.[7]

Beginning in the late 1960s the movement began to be seen as "a bona fide religious, theological and even intellectual movement in its own right."[7]Instead of interpreting fundamentalism as a simple anti-intellectualism, Paul Carter argued that "fundamentalists were simply intellectual in a way different than their opponents."[7] Moving into the 1970s, Earnest R. Sandeen saw fundamentalism as arising from the confluence of Princeton Theology and millennialism.[7]

George Marsden defined fundamentalism as "militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism" in his 1980 work Fundamentalism and American Culture.[7] "Militant" in this sense does not mean "violent", it means "aggressively active in a cause".[23] Marsden saw fundamentalism arising from a number of preexisting evangelical movements that responded to various perceived threats by joining forces.[7] He argued that Christian fundamentalistswere American evangelical Christians who in the 20th century opposed "both modernism in theology and the cultural changes that modernism endorsed. Militant opposition to modernism was what most clearly set off fundamentalism."[24] Others viewing militancy as a core characteristic of the fundamentalist movement include Philip Melling, Ung Kyu Pak and Ronald Witherup.[25][26][27] Donald McKim and David Wright (1992) argue that "in the 1920s, militant conservatives (fundamentalists) united to mount a conservative counter-offensive. Fundamentalists sought to rescue their denominations from the growth of modernism at home."[28]

According to Marsden, recent scholars differentiate "fundamentalists" from "evangelicals" by arguing the former were more militant and less willing to collaborate with groups considered "modernist" in theology. In the 1940s the more moderate faction of fundamentalists maintained the same theology but began calling themselves "evangelicals" to stress their less militant position.[29] Roger Olson (2007) identifies a more moderate faction of fundamentalists, which he calls "postfundamentalist", and says "most postfundamentalist evangelicals do not wish to be called fundamentalists, even though their basic theological orientation is not very different." According to Olson, a key event was the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in 1942.[30] Barry Hankins (2008) has a similar view, saying "beginning in the 1940s....militant and separatist evangelicals came to be called fundamentalists, while culturally engaged and non-militant evangelicals were supposed to be called evangelicals."[31]

Timothy Weber views fundamentalism as "a rather distinctive modern reaction to religious, social and intellectual changes of the late 1800s and early 1900s, a reaction that eventually took on a life of its own and changed significantly over time."[7]

In North America

Fundamentalist movements existed in most North American Protestant denominations by 1919 following attacks on modernist theology in Presbyterian and Baptist denominations. Fundamentalism was especially controversial among Presbyterians.[32]

In Canada[edit]

In Canada, fundamentalism was less prominent,[33] but it had an aggressive leader in English-born Thomas Todhunter Shields (1873–1955), who led 80 churches out of the Baptist federation in Ontario in 1927 and formed the Union of regular Baptist churches of Ontario and Quebec. He was affiliated with the Baptist Bible Union, based in the United States. His newspaper, The Gospel Witness, reached 30,000 subscribers in 16 countries, giving him an international reputation. He was one of the founders of the international Council of Christian Churches.[34]

Oswald J. Smith (1889–1986), reared in rural Ontario and educated at Moody Church in Chicago, set up The Peoples Church in Toronto in 1928. A dynamic preacher and leader in Canadian fundamentalism, Smith wrote 35 books and engaged in missionary work worldwide. Billy Graham called him "the greatest combination pastor, hymn writer, missionary statesman, an evangelist of our time".[35]

In the United States

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A leading organizer of the fundamentalist campaign against modernism in the United States was William Bell Riley, a Northern Baptist based in Minneapolis, where his Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School (1902), Northwestern Evangelical Seminary (1935), and Northwestern College (1944) produced thousands of graduates. At a large conference in Philadelphia in 1919, Riley founded the World Christian Fundamentals Association(WCFA), which became the chief interdenominational fundamentalist organization in the 1920s. Some mark this conference as the public start of Christian fundamentalism.[36][37] Although the fundamentalist drive to take control of the major Protestant denominations failed at the national level during the 1920s, the network of churches and missions fostered by Riley showed that the movement was growing in strength, especially in the U.S. South. Both rural and urban in character, the flourishing movement acted as a denominational surrogate and fostered a militant evangelical Christian orthodoxy. Riley was president of WCFA until 1929, after which the WCFA faded in importance.[38] The Independent Fundamental Churches of America became a leading association of independent U.S. fundamentalist churches upon its founding in 1930. The American Council of Christian Churches was founded for fundamental Christian denominations as an alternative to the National Council of Churches.

J. Gresham Machen Memorial Hall

Much of the enthusiasm for mobilizing fundamentalism came from Protestant seminaries and Protestant "Bible colleges" in the United States. Two leading fundamentalist seminaries were the Dispensationalist Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924 by Lewis Sperry Chafer, and the ReformedWestminster Theological Seminary, formed in 1929 under the leadership and funding of former Princeton Theological Seminary professor J. Gresham Machen.[39] Many Bible colleges were modeled after the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  Dwight Moody was influential in preaching the imminence of the Kingdom of God that was so important to Dispensationalism.[40] Bible colleges prepared ministers who lacked college or seminary experience with intense study of the Bible, often using the Scofield Reference Bible of 1909, a King James Version of the Bible with detailed notes which interprets passages from a Dispensational perspective.

Although U.S. fundamentalism began in the North, the movement's largest base of popular support was in the South, especially among Southern Baptists, where individuals (and sometimes entire churches) left the convention and joined other Baptist denominations and movements which they believed were "more conservative" such as the Independent Baptist movement. By the late 1920s the national media had identified it with the South, largely ignoring manifestations elsewhere.[41] In the mid-twentieth century, several Methodists left the mainline Methodist Church and established fundamental Methodist denominations, such as the Evangelical Methodist Church and the Fundamental Methodist Conference (see conservative holiness movement); others preferred congregating in Independent Methodist churches, many of which are affiliated with the Association of Independent Methodists, which is fundamentalist in its theological orientation.[42] By the 1970s Protestant fundamentalism was deeply entrenched and concentrated in the U.S. South. In 1972–1980 General Social Surveys, 65 percent of respondents from the "East South Central" region (comprising TennesseeKentuckyMississippi, and Alabama) self-identified as fundamentalist. The share of fundamentalists was at or near 50 percent in "West South Central" (Texas to Arkansas) and "South Atlantic" (Florida to Maryland), and at 25 percent or below elsewhere in the country, with the low of nine percent in New England. The pattern persisted into the 21st century; in 2006–2010 surveys, the average share of fundamentalists in the East South Central Region stood at 58 percent, while, in New England, it climbed slightly to 13 percent.[43]


In the 1920s, Christian fundamentalists "differed on how to understand the account of creation in Genesis" but they "agreed that God was the author of creation and that humans were distinct creatures, separate from animals, and made in the image of God".[44] While some of them advocated the belief in Old Earth creationism and a few of them even advocated the belief in evolutionary creation, other "strident fundamentalists" advocated Young Earth Creationism and "associated evolution with last-days atheism".[44] These "strident fundamentalists" in the 1920s devoted themselves to fighting against the teaching of evolution in the nation's schools and colleges, especially by passing state laws that affected public schools. William Bell Riley took the initiative in the 1925 Scopes Trial by bringing in famed politician William Jennings Bryan and hiring him to serve as an assistant to the local prosecutor, who helped draw national media attention to the trial. In the half century after the Scopes Trial, fundamentalists had little success in shaping government policy, and they were generally defeated in their efforts to reshape the mainline denominations, which refused to join fundamentalist attacks on evolution.[16] Particularly after the Scopes Trial, liberals saw a division between Christians in favor of the teaching of evolution, whom they viewed as educated and tolerant, and Christians against evolution, whom they viewed as narrow-minded, tribal, obscurantist.[45]

Edwards (2000), however, challenges the consensus view among scholars that in the wake of the Scopes trial, fundamentalism retreated into the political and cultural background, a viewpoint which is evidenced in the movie "Inherit the Wind" and the majority of contemporary historical accounts. Rather, he argues, the cause of fundamentalism's retreat was the death of its leader, Bryan. Most fundamentalists saw the trial as a victory rather than a defeat, but Bryan's death soon afterward created a leadership void that no other fundamentalist leader could fill. Unlike the other fundamentalist leaders, Bryan brought name recognition, respectability, and the ability to forge a broad-based coalition of fundamentalist religious groups to argue in favor of the anti-evolutionist position.[46]

Gatewood (1969) analyzes the transition from the anti-evolution crusade of the 1920s to the creation science movement of the 1960s. Despite some similarities between these two causes, the creation science movement represented a shift from religious to scientific objections to Darwin's theory. Creation science also differed in terms of popular leadership, rhetorical tone, and sectional focus. It lacked a prestigious leader like Bryan, utilized scientific rather than religious rhetoric, and was a product of California and Michigan rather than the South.[47]

Webb (1991) traces the political and legal struggles between strict creationists and Darwinists to influence the extent to which evolution would be taught as science in Arizona and California schools. After Scopes was convicted, creationists throughout the United States sought similar antievolution laws for their states. These included Reverends R. S. Beal and Aubrey L. Moore in Arizona and members of the Creation Research Society in California, all supported by distinguished laymen. They sought to ban evolution as a topic for study, or at least relegate it to the status of unproven theory perhaps taught alongside the biblical version of creation. Educators, scientists, and other distinguished laymen favored evolution. This struggle occurred later in the Southwest than in other US areas and persisted through the Sputnik era.[48]

In recent times, the courts have heard cases on whether or not the Book of Genesis's creation account should be taught in science classrooms alongside evolution, most notably in the 2005 federal court case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.[49] Creationism was presented under the banner of intelligent design, with the book Of Pandas and People being its textbook. The trial ended with the judge deciding that teaching intelligent design in a science class was unconstitutional as it was a religious belief and not science.[50]

The original fundamentalist movement divided along clearly defined lines within conservative evangelical Protestantism as issues progressed. Many groupings, large and small, were produced by this schism. Neo-evangelicalism, the Heritage movement, and Paleo-Orthodoxy have all developed distinct identities, but none of them acknowledge any more than an historical overlap with the fundamentalist movement, and the term is seldom used of them. The broader term "evangelical" includes fundamentalists as well as people with similar or identical religious beliefs who do not engage the outside challenge to the Bible as actively.[51]

Christian right

Main article: Christian right
Jerry Falwell, whose founding of the Moral Majority was a key step in the formation of the "New Christian Right"

The latter half of the twentieth century witnessed a surge of interest in organized political activism by U.S. fundamentalists. Dispensational fundamentalists viewed the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel as an important sign of the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and support for Israel became the centerpiece of their approach to U.S. foreign policy.[52] United States Supreme Court decisions also ignited fundamentalists' interest in organized politics, particularly Engel v. Vitale in 1962, which prohibited state-sanctioned prayer in public schools, and Abington School District v. Schempp in 1963, which prohibited mandatory Bible reading in public schools.[53] By the time Ronald Reagan ran for the presidency in 1980, fundamentalist preachers, like the prohibitionist ministers of the early 20th century, were organizing their congregations to vote for supportive candidates.[54]

Leaders of the newly political fundamentalism included Rob Grant and Jerry Falwell. Beginning with Grant's American Christian Cause in 1974, Christian Voicethroughout the 1970s and Falwell's Moral Majority in the 1980s, the Christian Right began to have a major impact on American politics. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Christian Right was influencing elections and policy with groups such as the Family Research Council (founded 1981 by James Dobson) and the Christian Coalition(formed in 1989 by Pat Robertson) helping conservative politicians, especially Republicans to win state and national elections.[55]

Catholic fundamentalism[edit]

Some scholars describe certain Catholics as fundamentalists. Such Catholics believe in a literal interpretation of doctrines and Vatican declarations, particularly those pronounced by the Pope,[81][82][83] and they also believe that individuals who do not agree with the magisterium are condemned by God.[84] Lutheran scholar Martin E. Marty claimed that any Catholic who advocates mass in Latin and mandatory clerical celibacy while opposing ordination of women priests and rejecting artificial birth control was a fundamentalist.[85] This is considered a pejorative designation. The Society of St. Pius X, a product of Marcel Lefebvre, is cited as a stronghold of Catholic fundamentalism.[86][87]


Fundamentalists' literal interpretation of the Bible has been criticised by practitioners of Biblical criticism for failing to take into account the circumstances in which the Christian Bible was written. Critics claim that this "literal interpretation" is not in keeping with the message which the scripture intended to convey when it was written,[88] and it also uses the Bible for political purposes by presenting God "more as a God of judgement and punishment than as a God of love and mercy".[89][90]

Christian Fundamentalism has also been linked to child abuse[91][92][93][94] and mental illness.[95][96][97] Christian Fundamentalism has also been linked to corporal punishment,[98][99][100][101] with most practitioners believing that the Bible requires them to spank their children.[102][103] Artists have addressed the issues of Christian Fundamentalism,[104][105] with one providing a slogan "America's Premier Child Abuse Brand".[106]

Fundamentalists have attempted and continue to attempt to teach intelligent design, a hypothesis with creationism as its base, in lieu of evolution in public schools. This has resulted in legal challenges such as the federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District which resulted in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruling the teaching of intelligent design to be unconstitutional due to its religious roots.[107]

In the 1930s fundamentalism was viewed by many as a "last gasp" vestige of something from the past[108] but more recently, scholars have shifted away from that view.[7][109]

Confessional Lutheran churches reject the fundamentalist position[110] and believe that all biblical teachings are essential:

Are there some "non-essential" or "non-fundamental" teachings about which we can safely disagree? If they believe the answer is "yes," that in itself is already reason for alarm. The Bible teaches that no teachings of the Bible can safely be set aside. "Agreeing to disagree" is really not God-pleasing agreement.[111]

According to Lutheran apologists, Martin Luther said:

The doctrine is not ours, but God's, and we are called to be his servants. Therefore we cannot waver or change the smallest point of doctrine.[112]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up to: a b Fundamentalism at Accessed 28 July 2011.
  2. Jump up to: a b Marsden (1980), pp. 55–62, 118–23.
  3. ^ Sandeen (1970), p. 6
  4. ^ Hill, Brennan; Knitter, Paul F.; Madges, William. Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary IntroductionTwenty-Third PublicationsCatholic fundamentalists, like their Protestant counterparts, fear that the church has abandoned the unchanging truth of past tradition for the evolving speculations of modern theology. They fear that Christian societies have replaced systems of absolute moral norms with subjective decision making and relativism. Like Protestant fundamentalists, Catholic fundamentalists propose a worldview that is rigorous and clear cut.
  5. ^ Roger E. Olson (2004). The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 3–6. summarizes the debate.
  6. ^ "Britannica Academic" Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  7. Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l Reid, D. G., Linder, R. D., Shelley, B. L., & Stout, H. S. (1990). In Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Entry on Fundamentalism
  8. ^ "ITIB – Contending for the Faith, Chapter 1" Retrieved 9 December2016.
  9. ^ Robbins, Dale A. (1995). What is a Fundamentalist Christian?. Grass Valley, California: Victorious Publications. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  10. ^ Horton, Ron. "Christian Education at Bob Jones University". Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  11. ^ Wilson, William P. "Legalism and the Authority of Scripture". Retrieved 19 March2010.
  12. ^ Morton, Timothy S. "From Liberty to Legalism – A Candid Study of Legalism, "Pharisees," and Christian Liberty". Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  13. ^ Sandeen (1970), ch 1
  14. Jump up to: a b Woodberry, Robert D; Smith, Christian S. (1998). "Fundamentalism et al: conservative Protestants in America". Annual Review of Sociology24.1: 25–56. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.25 – via AcademicOne File.
  15. ^ Randall Balmer (2002). The Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Westminster John Knox Press. pp. vii–viii.
  16. Jump up to: a b c Kee, Howard Clark; Emily Albu; Carter Lindberg; J. William Frost; Dana L. Robert (1998). Christianity: A Social and Cultural History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. p. 484. ISBN 0-13-578071-3.
  17. ^ Marsden (1980), pp 109–118
  18. ^ Sandeen (1970) pp 103–31
  19. ^ Marsden, George M. (1995). Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 118.
  20. ^ Beyond Biblical Literalism and Inerrancy: Conservative Protestants and the Hermeneutic Interpretation of Scripture, John Bartkowski, Sociology of Religion, 57, 1996.
  21. ^ Sandeen (1970) pp 188–207
  22. ^ "The Fundamentals A Testimony to the Truth". Archived from the original on 1 January 2003. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  23. ^ "Militant" in Merriam Webster Third Unabridged Dictionary (1961) which cites "militant suffragist" and "militant trade unionism" as example.
  24. ^ Marsden (1980), Fundamentalism and American Culture p. 4
  25. ^ Philip H. Melling, Fundamentalism in America: millennialism, identity and militant religion (1999). As another scholar points out, "One of the major distinctives of fundamentalism is militancy."
  26. ^ Ung Kyu Pak, Millennialism in the Korean Protestant Church (2005) p. 211.
  27. ^ Ronald D. Witherup, a Catholic scholar, says: "Essentially, fundamentalists see themselves as defending authentic Christian religion... The militant aspect helps to explain the desire of fundamentalists to become active in political change." Ronald D. Witherup, Biblical Fundamentalism: What Every Catholic Should Know (2001) p 2
  28. ^ Donald K. McKim and David F. Wright, Encyclopedia of the Reformed faith (1992) p. 148
  29. ^ George M. Marsden (1995). Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. xi.
  30. ^ Roger E. Olson, Pocket History of Evangelical Theology (2007) p. 12
  31. ^ Barry Hankins, Francis Schaeffer and the shaping of Evangelical America (2008) p 233
  32. ^ Marsden, George M. (1995). Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 109–118.
  33. ^ John G. Stackhouse, Canadian Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century (1993)
  34. ^ C. Allyn Russell, "Thomas Todhunter Shields: Canadian Fundamentalist," Foundations, 1981, Vol. 24 Issue 1, pp 15–31
  35. ^ David R. Elliott, "Knowing No Borders: Canadian Contributions to American Fundamentalism," in George A. Rawlyk and Mark A. Noll, eds., Amazing Grace: Evangelicalism in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States (1993)
  36. ^ Trollinger, William (8 October 2019). "Fundamentalism turns 100, a landmark for the Christian Right"Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  37. ^ Sutton, Matthew Avery (25 May 2019). "The Day Christian Fundamentalism Was Born"The New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  38. ^ William Vance Trollinger, Jr. "Riley's Empire: Northwestern Bible School and Fundamentalism in the Upper Midwest". Church History 1988 57(2): 197–212. 0009–6407
  39. ^ Marsden, George M. (1995). Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 33.
  40. ^ Kee, Howard Clark; Emily Albu; Carter Lindberg; J. William Frost; Dana L. Robert (1998). Christianity: A Social and Cultural History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. p. 484.
  41. ^ Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews, Rethinking Zion: how the print media placed fundamentalism in the South (2006) page xi
  42. ^ Crespino, Joseph (2007). In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution. Princeton University Press. p. 169. ISBN 9780691122090.
  43. ^ "General Social Survey database".
  44. Jump up to: a b Sutton, Matthew Avery (25 May 2019). "The Day Christian Fundamentalism Was Born"The New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2019. Although fundamentalists differed on how to understand the account of creation in Genesis, they agreed that God was the author of creation and that humans were distinct creatures, separate from animals, and made in the image of God. Some believed than an old earth could be reconciled with the Bible, and others were comfortable teaching some forms of God-directed evolution. Riley and the more strident fundamentalists, however, associated evolution with last-days atheism, and they made it their mission to purge it from the schoolroom.
  45. ^ David Goetz, "The Monkey Trial". Christian History 1997 16(3): 10–18. 0891–9666; Burton W. Folsom, Jr. "The Scopes Trial Reconsidered." Continuity 1988 (12): 103–127. 0277–1446, by a leading conservative scholar
  46. ^ Mark Edwards, "Rethinking the Failure of Fundamentalist Political Antievolutionism after 1925". Fides Et Historia 2000 32(2): 89–106. 0884–5379
  47. ^ Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., ed. Controversy in the Twenties: Fundamentalism, Modernism, & Evolution (1969)
  48. ^ George E. Webb, "The Evolution Controversy in Arizona and California: From the 1920s to the 1980s." Journal of the Southwest 1991 33(2): 133–150. 0894–8410. See also Christopher K. Curtis, "Mississippi's Anti-Evolution Law of 1926." Journal of Mississippi History 1986 48(1): 15–29.
  49. ^ "Kitzmiller v. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial"National Center for Science Education. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  50. ^ Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District et al.H. Conclusion
  51. ^ Harris, Harriet A. Fundamentalism and Evangelicals (2008), pp. 39, 313.
  52. ^ Aaron William Stone, Dispensationalism and United States foreign policy with Israel(2008) excerpt
  53. ^ Bruce J. Dierenfield, The Battle over School Prayer (2007), page 236.
  54. ^ Oran Smith, The Rise of Baptist Republicanism (2000)
  55. ^ Albert J. Menendez, Evangelicals at the Ballot Box (1996), pp. 128–74.
  56. ^ |title=Riches and Wagner (eds), Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church.
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  59. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 1990, "Sex Scandal – Bible Belt", p.74
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  61. ^ "Sex Scandal – Bible Belt", Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 1990, p.74
  62. ^ Roberts, G., Sex Scandal Divides Bible Belt, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 1990
  63. ^ Lyons, J., God Remains an Issue in Queensland, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 1989
  64. ^ "Rick Perry's Army of God". 3 August 2011.
  65. ^ Hart, Timothy. "Church Discover". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  66. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 293.
  67. ^ Small, R. (2004). A DelightfulInheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 287.
  68. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. pp. 299–300.
  69. ^ Small, R (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton, Queensland: R.Small. p. 358. ISBN 978-1920855734.
  70. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 306.
  71. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 316.
  72. ^ "TRAVAIL AND APOSTOLIC ORDER – Vision International Ministries".
  73. ^, 4th paragraph
  74. ^ "Christian Leaders' Network". Facebook. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  75. ^ "One City One Church One Heart". Toowoomba Christian Leaders' Network. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  76. ^ Christian Fellowship, The Range. "The Range Christian Fellowship". Facebook. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  77. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 297.
  78. ^ Small, R. (2004). A Delightful Inheritance (1st ed.). Wilsonton: R.Small. p. 308.
  79. ^ "The Range Christian Fellowship".
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  81. ^ Gerald A. Arbuckle. Violence, Society, and the Church: A Cultural ApproachLiturgical Press. p. 208.
  82. ^ Richard P. McBrienThe HarperCollins Encyclopedia of CatholicismHarperCollinsfundamentalism, Catholic, the Catholic forms of religious fundamentalism, including especially an unhistorical and literal reading not of the Bible but also of the official teachings of the Church.
  83. ^ Brennan Hill; Paul F. Knitter; William Madges. Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary IntroductionTwenty-Third PublicationsCatholic fundamentalism also has its distinctive traits. Whereas Protestant fundamentalists invest absolute authority in the literal interpretation of Scripture, fundamentalist Catholics invest absolute authority in the literal interpretation of Vatican declarations and the figure of the pope. In the words of Catholic theologian Thomas O'Meara, "creeping infallibility," that is, the belief that everything said by the pope or a Vatican congregation is incapable of error, accomplishes for Catholic fundamentalists what the biblical page does for Protestant fundamentalists.
  84. ^ Brennan Hill; Paul F. Knitter; William Madges. Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary IntroductionTwenty-Third PublicationsCatholic fundamentalists, like Protestant fundamentalists, stress the need for an absolute external authority to guide the thinking and decision making of the individual. They do so because of the sinfulness of the human person. Left to his or her own devices, the individual, they feel, will generally make bad judgements. Consequently, individual freedom must be directed by the right authority. In the case of Catholic fundamentalism, this means literal adherence fully to past tradition, or who have difficulty assenting to every official statement of the hierarchical magisterium, are judged harshly. Such sinners, say fundamentalists, are condemned by God.
  85. ^ Brennan Hill; Paul F. Knitter; William Madges. Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary IntroductionTwenty-Third PublicationsAs Martin Marty has noted, Catholic fundamentalists may overlook-of course, without necessarily denying-the big "fundamentals" such as the Trinity. They will instead "select items that will 'stand out,' such as Mass in Latin, opposition to women priests, optional clerical celibacy, or support for dismissals of 'artificial birth control.'"
  86. ^ Richard P. McBrien. The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of CatholicismHarperCollinsThere are also fundamentalist communities ranging from the Lefebvre schism within the Catholic Church to movements which practice a dubious form of spirituality or unapproved religious communities.
  87. ^ Gerald A. Arbuckle. Violence, Society, and the Church: A Cultural ApproachLiturgical Press. p. 208. Catholic fundamentalists belong to a particularly aggressive form of restorationism noted for...Concern for accidentals, not for the substance of issues, e.g., the Lefebvre sect stresses Latin for the Mass, failing to see that this does not pertain to authentic tradition. Attempts by fundamentalists groups, e.g., Opus Dei, to infiltrate governmental structures of the Church in order to obtain legitimacy for their views and to impose them on the whole Church.
  88. ^ "A Critique of Fundamentalism" Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  89. ^ Brennan Hill; Paul F. Knitter; William Madges. Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary IntroductionTwenty-Third PublicationsIn fundamentalists circles, both Catholic and Protestant, God is often presented more as a God of judgement and punishment than as a God of love and mercy.
  90. ^ McElwee, Sean (5 February 2014). "The Simple Truth About Biblical Literalism and the Fundamentalists Who Promote It"AlterNet. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  91. ^ "Fundamentalist Christianity and Child Abuse: A Taboo Topic"Psychology Today. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  92. ^ Martin, Jennifer C. "Growing Up Fundie: The Painful Impact of Conservative Religion"Gawker. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  93. ^ Brightbill, Kathryn. "The larger problem of sexual abuse in evangelical circles" Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  94. ^ "The reported death of the 'White Widow' and her 12-year-old son should make us face some hard facts"The Independent. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  95. ^ Bennett-Smith, Meredith (31 May 2013). "Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness"Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  96. ^ Morris, Nathaniel P. "How Do You Distinguish between Religious Fervor and Mental Illness?"Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  97. ^ "Religious fundamentalism a mental illness? | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis"dna. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  98. ^ Grasmick, H. G.; Bursik, R. J.; Kimpel, M. (1991). "Protestant fundamentalism and attitudes toward corporal punishment of children". Violence and Victims6 (4): 283–298. ISSN 0886-6708PMID 1822698.
  99. ^ "Religious Attitudes on Corporal Punishment -". Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  100. ^ "Christian fundamentalist schools 'performed blood curdling exorcisms on children'"The Independent. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  101. ^ "Spare the quarter-inch plumbing supply line, spoil the child". Retrieved 4 October2017.
  102. ^ Newhall, Barbara Falconer (10 October 2014). "James Dobson: Beat Your Dog, Spank Your Kid, Go to Heaven"Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  103. ^ "Spanking in the Spirit?"CT Women. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  104. ^ "Can Art Save Us From Fundamentalism?"Religion Dispatches. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  105. ^ Hesse, Josiah (5 April 2016). "Apocalyptic upbringing: how I recovered from my terrifying evangelical childhood"The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  106. ^ "ESC by Daniel Vander Ley" Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  107. ^ "Victory in the Challenge to Intelligent Design". ACLU. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  108. ^ Parent, Mark (1998). Spirit Scapes: Mapping the Spiritual & Scientific Terrain at the Dawn of the New Millennium. Wood Lake Publishing Inc. p. 161. ISBN 9781770642959By the beginning of the 1930s [...] fundamentalism appeared to be in disarray everywhere. Scholarly studies sprang up which claimed that fundamentalism was the last gasp of a dying religious order that was quickly vanishing.
  109. ^ Hankins, Barry (2008). "'We're All Evangelicals Now': The Existential and Backward Historiography of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism". In Harper, Keith (ed.). American Denominational History: Perspectives on the Past, Prospects for the Future. Religion & American Culture. 68. University of Alabama Press. p. 196. ISBN 9780817355128[...] in 1970 [...] Ernest Shandeen's The Roots of Fundamentalism [...] shifted the interpretation away from the view that fundamentalism was a last-gasp attempt to preserve a dying way of life.
  110. ^ For detailed coverage of the fundamentalist movement from a Confessional Lutheran perspective, see Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 358.
  111. ^ "Correct Churches"WELS Topical Q&AWisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  112. ^ What is the Lutheran Confessional Church? Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, by Lutheran Confessional Church


  • Almond, Gabriel A., R. Scott Appleby, and Emmanuel Sivan, eds. (2003). Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms around the World  and text search
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  • Ballmer, Randall (2nd ed 2004). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism
  • Ballmer, Randall (2010). The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond, 120pp
  • Ballmer, Randall (2000). Blessed Assurance: A History of Evangelicalism in America
  • Beale, David O. (1986). In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University (Unusual Publications). ISBN 0-89084-350-3.
  • Bebbington, David W. (1990). "Baptists and Fundamentalists in Inter-War Britain." In Keith Robbins, ed. Protestant Evangelicalism: Britain, Ireland, Germany and America c.1750-c.1950.Studies in Church History subsidia 7, 297–326. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, ISBN 0-631-17818-X.
  • Bebbington, David W. (1993). "Martyrs for the Truth: Fundamentalists in Britain." In Diana Wood, ed. Martyrs and Martyrologies, Studies in Church History Vol. 30, 417–451. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, ISBN 0-631-18868-1.
  • Barr, James (1977). Fundamentalism. London: SCM Press. ISBN 0-334-00503-5.
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  • Carpenter, Joel A. (1999). Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-512907-5.
  • Cole, Stewart Grant (1931). The History of Fundamentalism, Greenwood Press ISBN 0-8371-5683-1.
  • Doner, Colonel V. (2012). Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America, Samizdat Creative
  • Elliott, David R. (1993). "Knowing No Borders: Canadian Contributions to Fundamentalism." In George A. Rawlyk and Mark A. Noll, eds. Amazing Grace: Evangelicalism in Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States. Grand Rapids: Baker. 349–374, ISBN 0-7735-1214-4.
  • Dollar, George W. (1973). A History of Fundamentalism in America. Greenville: Bob Jones University Press.
  • Hankins, Barry. (2008). American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of A Mainstream Religious Movement, scholarly history excerpt and text search
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  • Hart, D. G. (1998). "The Tie that Divides: Presbyterian Ecumenism, Fundamentalism and the History of Twentieth-Century American Protestantism". Westminster Theological Journal60: 85–107.
  • Hughes, Richard Thomas (1988). The American quest for the primitive church 257pp excerpt and text search
  • Laats, Adam (Feb. 2010). "Forging a Fundamentalist 'One Best System': Struggles over Curriculum and Educational Philosophy for Christian Day Schools, 1970–1989," History of Education Quarterly, 50 (Feb. 2010), 55–83.
  • Longfield, Bradley J. (1991). The Presbyterian Controversy. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508674-0.
  • Marsden, George M. (1995). "Fundamentalism as an American Phenomenon." In D. G. Hart, ed. Reckoning with the Past, 303–321. Grand Rapids: Baker.
  • Marsden; George M. (1980)Fundamentalism and American Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-502758-2; the standard scholarly history; excerpt and text search
  • Marsden, George M. (1991). Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism excerpt and text search
  • McCune, Rolland D (1998). "The Formation of New Evangelicalism (Part One): Historical and Theological Antecedents" (PDF). Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal3: 3–34. Archived from the original on 10 September 2005.
  • McLachlan, Douglas R. (1993). Reclaiming Authentic Fundamentalism. Independence, Mo.: American Association of Christian Schools. ISBN 0-918407-02-8.
  • Noll, Mark (1992). A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada.. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 311–389. ISBN 0-8028-0651-1.
  • Noll, Mark A., David W. Bebbington and George A. Rawlyk eds. (1994). Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles and Beyond, 1700–1990.
  • Rawlyk, George A., and Mark A. Noll, eds. (1993). Amazing Grace: Evangelicalism in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States.
  • Rennie, Ian S. (1994). "Fundamentalism and the Varieties of North Atlantic Evangelicalism." in Mark A. Noll, David W. Bebbington and George A. Rawlyk eds. Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles and Beyond, 1700–1990. New York: Oxford University Press. 333–364, ISBN 0-19-508362-8.
  • Russell, C. Allyn (1976), Voices of American Fundamentalism: Seven Biographical Studies, Philadelphia: Westminster PressISBN 0-664-20814-2
  • Ruthven, Malise (2007). Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction excerpt and text search
  • Sandeen, Ernest Robert (1970). The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800–1930, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-73467-6
  • Seat, Leroy (2007). Fed Up with Fundamentalism: A Historical, Theological, and Personal Appraisal of Christian Fundamentalism. Liberty, MO: 4-L Publications. ISBN 978-1-59526-859-4
  • Stackhouse, John G. (1993). Canadian Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century
  • Trollinger, William V. (1991). God's Empire: William Bell Riley and Midwestern Fundamentalism excerpts and text search
  • Utzinger, J. Michael (2006). Yet Saints Their Watch Are Keeping: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and the Development of Evangelical Ecclesiology, 1887–1937, Macon: Mercer University Press, ISBN 0-86554-902-8
  • Witherup, S. S., Ronald, D. (2001). Biblical Fundamentalism: What Every Catholic Should Know, 101pp excerpt and text search
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Primary sources[edit]

  • Hankins, Barr, ed. (2008). Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: A Documentary Reader  excerpt and text search
  • Torrey, R. A., Dixon, A. C., et al. (eds.) (1917).  The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth partial version at Accessed 2011-07-26.
  • Trollinger, William Vance, Jr., ed. (1995). The Antievolution Pamphlets of William Bell Riley. (Creationism in Twentieth-Century America: A Ten-Volume Anthology of Documents, 1903–1961. Vol. 4.) New York: Garland, 221 pp. excerpt and text search

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