Sentimens de quelques theologians de Chicago sur The Fundamentalist Project: Are There Really Any Honest Brokers? -- By: David Hunsicker

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 16:2 (Fall 1995)
Article: Sentimens de quelques theologians de Chicago sur The Fundamentalist Project: Are There Really Any Honest Brokers?
Author: David Hunsicker


Sentimens de quelques
theologians de Chicago
sur The Fundamentalist Project:
Are There Really Any Honest Brokers?

David Hunsicker *

While strolling down the Chicago lakefront the other day, I came across three distinguished gentlemen deep in discussion. Not wishing to intrude, I took the park bench beside them and leaned in their direction in an effort to hear what topic so deeply preoccupied such scholarly men. From what I could ascertain, these learned men were speaking of politics: a subject of which I know nothing. But as I listened more intently, I heard the words God and fundamentalists bantered back and forth among them. Having dabbled myself in primitive theology, I asked, “Do y’all mind if I listen and occasionally toss out a question or two?” (I thought that I might be enlightened by their obviously superior intellects.) From their under-the-breath snickers I could tell they were trying to withhold their delight as they looked at each other. Then, after a brief silence, the oldest and most distinguished of the gentlemen asked me, “From what part of the rural south do you hail?” Embarrassed at being caught on to so quickly, I apologized profusely for having caused that war and for my heritage, my ignorance, and anything else I could quickly think of that might allow me to stay and listen. Slightly exasperated, they agreed to let me stay—with the one condition: that I would not say y’all again. To which I replied, “Anything y’all say, oh I mean of course, anything you say.”

After listening diligently as they discussed the most intriguing topic of fundamentalisms, I became somewhat confused and asked, “Would you please explain what you mean by fundamentalisms? Because the more I have listened, the harder it has become for me to discern exactly about what or whom you are speaking.”

To this request, the youngest gentleman answered (a bit peeved I might add), “religious fundamentalisms.” Again, showing my obvious ignorance, I begged him to explain a little further. To this he begrudgingly replied:

* David Hunsicker is a candidate for the Ph.D. degree (in Historical Theology) at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Religious fundamentalism … [is] a tendency, a habit of mind, found within religious communities and paradigmatically embodied in certain representative individuals and movements, which manifests itself as a strategy, or set of strategies, by which beleaguered believers attempt to preserve their distinctive identity as a people or group. Feeling this identity to be at risk in the contemporary era, they fortify it by a selective retrieval of doctrines, beliefs, and practices fro...

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