Christian Fundamentalism and the Culture of Disenchantment
Within the familiar clash of religious conservatism and secular liberalismPaul Maltby finds a deeper discord: an antipathy between Christian fundamentalism and the postmodernculture of disenchantment. Arguing that each camp represents the poles of America's virulent culturewars, he shows how the cultural identity, lifestyle, and political commitments of many Americansmatch either the fundamentalist profile of one who cleaves to metaphysical and authoritarian beliefsor the postmodern profile of one who is disposed to critical inquiry and radical-democraticvalues.Maltby offers a critique that operates in bothdirections. His use of the resources of postmodern theory to contest fundamentalism's doctrinalclaims, ultra-right politics, anti-environmentalism, and conservative aesthetics informs hisengagement with contemporary fundamentalist painting, spiritual warfare fiction, dominionistattitudes to nature, and a profoundly undemocratic interpretation of Christianity. At the same time,Maltby identifies some of fundamentalism's legitimate spiritual concerns, assesses the cost ofperpetual critique, and exposes the deficit of spiritual meaning that haunts the culture ofdisenchantment.
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