Review by Choice Review
Brasher's encyclopedia covers six major topics: fundamentalism in its religious context; major events in the history of fundamentalism; primary beliefs and institutions; major movements, sects and churches; perspectives on political and social issues; and individuals central to these movements. Arranged alphabetically, the entries address a wide range of subjects: Religions--Islamic, evangelical, new age; technology--televangelism, radio; issues defining the fundamentalists--virgin birth, creation, resurrection, second coming; concepts, such as love and grace; political arenas--Taliban, Ku Klux Klan, Moral Majority; how fundamentalists have reacted to various segments of society--rock music, antifeminism, entertainment industry; and how various groups respond to fundamentalism--UN, World Council of Churches. Excerpts of documents important in the history of religion are provided (e.g., Luther's 95 Theses). Contributors maintain objectivity throughout most essays. Bibliographies consist of books from a variety of perspectives and Web sites. The volume is well structured, with numerous cross-references in both the text and index. Highly recommended for undergraduate collections and seminaries. R. Hartsock University of North Texas
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Part of Routledge's Religion and Society series of reference sources that cover various aspects of religious experience from a cross-cultural perspective, this encyclopedia discusses and analyzes the concept of fundamentalism in American Protestant Christianity and other religious traditions and cultures. In her introduction, editor Brasher treats fundamentalism primarily as "a widespread, populist, socio-economic movement that emerged in twentieth-century Christian Protestantism." But she defines the scope of this encyclopedia broadly, noting that the term fundamentalism can be applied to movements within different religious traditions. "These movements," Brasher states, "attempted to blockade religious authority from most, if not all, outside critique, and fence off adherents from the influence of contemporary culture beyond their religion." The clearly written, alphabetically arranged entries range in length from one to seven pages, and each ends with an author byline and a short bibliography. Some of the longer articles also include sidebars with textual excerpts from documents related to the topic of the entry. There are a few marginally relevant black-and-white photos interspersed throughout the book. Entry topics include major fundamentalist movements and sects (there are long entries on Catholic, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish fundamentalism but none on Buddhist or Confucian Fundamentalism); significant creeds (Creationism, Cult of Mary, Westminster Confession); historical events (Azusa Street Revival, Great Awakening); and social and political issues that are important to fundamentalists (Abortion, Antifeminism, Militia). Biographical information on key figures in the history of fundamentalism is interwoven into the text of many of the entries. Entries such as Bible study, Evil, Free will, Miracles, Prophecy, and Sin and sinners are exclusively or mostly discussed in a Protestant fundamentalist context. Information in entries dealing with topics related to Judaism is sometimes set in a Christian context, for example, the Hebrew Bible is called the "Old Testament," the Western Wall is called the "Wailing Wall," and an entry on Elohim (one of the words for God used in the Hebrew Bible) discusses its interpretation by Christian fundamentalists but not their Jewish counterparts. Although most elements of this encyclopedia are covered adequately in a combination of other broader reference works (e.g., Encyclopedia of Religion [Macmillan, 1995] and Encyclopedia of American Social History [Macmillan, 1993]) the Encyclopedia of Fundamentalism provides the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of Protestant Fundamentalism; its entries of non-Protestant Fundamentalism are less complete. Recommended for academic libraries, large public libraries, and seminary libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Last year, as the first two volumes in its "Religion & Society" series, Routledge published Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements and Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions. This new volume on fundamentalism is of the same outstanding quality. Brasher (religion, Mount Union Coll.) comes particularly well prepared to edit this work, having authored Godly Women: Fundamentalism and Female Power and, more recently, Give Me That Online Religion. Here she defines fundamentalism as "orthodoxy in confrontation with modernity," making it broadly applicable not just to Christianity but to other religions as well. Nearly 200 entries by 100 anthropologists, historians, sociologists, and religious scholars cover the full range of fundamentalism, from definition, history, and beliefs to movements and churches, significant individuals, and expressions in various world religions. Creationism, fascism, rock music, and the Taliban are a sample of the topics covered. The contributors provide clear, readable explanations, and bibliographic resources are given at the end of each article. Whether your readers need a means of rapid entree into research on fundamentalism or simply a general reference, this beautifully laid-out work is the one to have. Strongly recommended for all libraries. William P. Collins, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.