Fundamentalism

from guardian book review – pedants and partisans – Terry Eagleton<blockquote>The word “fundamentalism” was first used in the early years of the last century by anti-liberal US Christians, who singled out seven supposed fundamentals of their faith…It began life as a proud self-description. The first of the seven fundamentals was a belief in the literal truth of the Bible; and this is probably the best definition of fundamentalism there is. It is basically a textual affair. Fundamentalists are those who believe that our linguistic currency is trustworthy only if it is backed by the gold standard of the Word of Words. They see God as copperfastening human meaning. Fundamentalism means sticking strictly to the script, which in turn means being deeply fearful of the improvised, ambiguous or indeterminate.

Fundamentalists, however, fail to realise that the phrase “sacred text” is self-contradictory. Since writing is meaning that can be handled by anybody, any time, it is always profane and promiscuous. Meaning that has been written down is bound to be unhygienic. Words that could only ever mean one thing would not be words. Fundamentalism is the paranoid condition of those who do not see that roughness is not a defect of human existence, but what makes it work.</blockquote>Don’t really resonate with the rest of this article, but this bit was good. (via dale keiger)