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Religious Fundamentalism in Eight Muslim‐Majority Countries: Reconceptualization and Assessment


To capture the common features of diverse fundamentalist movements, overcome etymological variability, and assess predictors, religious fundamentalism is conceptualized as a set of beliefs about and attitudes toward religion, expressed in a disciplinarian deity, literalism, exclusivity, and intolerance. Evidence from representative samples of over 23,000 adults in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey supports the conclusion that fundamentalism is stronger in countries where religious liberty is lower, religion less fractionalized, state structure less fragmented, regulation of religion greater, and the national context less globalized. Among individuals within countries, fundamentalism is linked to religiosity, confidence in religious institutions, belief in religious modernity, belief in conspiracies, xenophobia, fatalism, weaker liberal values, trust in family and friends, reliance on less diverse information sources, lower socioeconomic status, and membership in an ethnic majority or dominant religion/sect. We discuss implications of these findings for understanding fundamentalism and the need for further research.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Moaddel, Mansoor and Stuart A. Karabenick. 2018. "Religious Fundamentalism in Eight Muslim‐Majority Countries: Reconceptualization and Assessment." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (August).  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jssr.12549

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