Coined to describe a conservative Protestant Christian movement, the word "fundamentalist" is increasingly applied to a wide range of traditionalist religious movements which stand in reaction against the secularizing forces of modernity. These groups, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu, tend to share an emphasis on "family values" and to denounce those societal trends which lead to increased independence for women. The papers collected in this volume, all previously unpublished, focus on fundamentalist attitudes toward women. Together they reveal that control over women, in terms of sexuality, reproduction, and social and economic roles, is in fact central to the fundamentalist project. Looking in detail at attitudes within four representative groups, the authors suggest that fundamentalist movements are concerned with establishing islands of certainty and control against what is experienced as social and cultural chaos. Control of women becomes the primary "territory" on which this project is acted out.
Bringing together the work of such well-known authors as Wayne Proudfoot, Randall Balmer, Peter Awn, and Helen Hardacre, this groundbreaking collection will appeal to those interested in women's issues and comparative fundamentalism.