Karen Armstrong’s Views on Religious Fundamentalism
An Analysis of the Book: “The Battle for God”

* Dr. Riaz Ahmad Saeed
Lecturer, Department of Islamic Studies, NUML, Islamabad.

** Dr. Mohsin Khan Abbasi
Visiting Faculty, Islamic studies, NUML, Islamabad.

Abstract

This study evaluates the views on religious fundamentalism of British writers and orientalist Karen Armstrong.  Religious fundamentalism has become a tragic issue in the contemporary world.  Fundamentalism has appeared at the end of the twentieth century as one of the most influential forces in the contemporary world. In the book, The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong compassionately shows us how and why fundamentalist groups arose into existence and what they want to attain.  It’s notable that the influence of western civilization has changed every aspect of life, often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the most important things that entirely changed was religion. This civilization actually was anti-religion.  People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances. This book is an example of an academic effort to portray fundamentalism as a most powerful force of work and we cannot ignore it at any moment in human history. Religious fundamentalism is not merely a static idea but now it has become a dynamic movement and tries to influence and change the world by its ideology and power in a different but surprising way. This study reveals religious fundamentalism is a very dangerous problem in the modern world. Only Islam which is a religion of peace is not responsible for it. But, some people misinterpret its teachings according to their wishes and whims. In the modern world, there is a dire need to give proper space to religion and spread its peaceful and kind teachings in the society for interfaith harmony and peaceful co-existence.  Analytical and critical approaches have been adopted in this study with qualitative research methodology to maintain its findings.

Keywords

Karen Armstrong, Religion, Fundamentalism, Analysis, the Battle for God.

Al-Wifaq

Vol 3

Issue 2

June – December 2020

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