During the past forty years, there has been extraordinary growth in the impact of religion on nations all over the world. The number of religious adherents has spiked, their zeal has intensified, and their political influence has expanded dramatically. Religious zeal has become the single most significant cause of conflicts between nations and of power struggles within nations.
In Theocracy: Can Democracy Survive Fundamentalism, author P. J. Tierney examines political efforts by fundamentalists, particularly in the United States. Drawing upon current events, history, psychology, ethics, and the Bible, Tierney delves into some of the excesses of contemporary Christian fundamentalism in its efforts to advance the vision of a form of American theocracy. This study • defines fundamentalism, particularly Christian fundamentalism; • differentiates fundamentalism from traditional Christian renditions; • explains fundamentalism’s root causes, goals, and express strategies; • describes its political evolution; • identifies fundamentalism’s departures from previous Christian efforts to influence society and government; • examines its efforts and their underlying motivations through several lenses, including history, psychology, political theory, ethics, logic, current events, and the Bible; • seeks to identify some of the excesses of the contemporary Christian fundamentalist approach; and • offers other options for people of faith. Tierney offers practical suggestions for coping with the inroads of fundamentalism in order to strengthen democracy within pluralistic American society. He presents a powerful argument for the separation of religion and politics.
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