Sociology 604: Globalized Fundamentalisms

University of Alberta
Department of Sociology
Instructor: Dr. Stephen A. Kent
Sociology 604: Globalized Fundamentalisms

PLEASE NOTE: If a situation arises that will affect your performance in the course, then I expect to be informed immediately. Either speak with me directly or leave a note or phone message with instructions as to how I can contact you. FOR MISSED ASSIGNMENTS, I require an ORIGINAL, WRITTEN note of explanation, clearly signed (with an accompanying phone number) from an ‘official’ of some sort (i.e., a doctor’s slip, a tow truck or mechanic’s bill, a police report, a professional counsellor’s note, etc.).

Required Texts:
Jurgensmeyer, Mark. 2000. Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Parfrey, Adam. 2001. Extreme Islam: Anti-American Propaganda of Muslim Fundamentalism. Los Angeles: Feral House.

Rushdie, Salman. 1988. The Satanic Verses. New York: Viking.

William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style. (any edition). New York: Macmillian, 1979 (or more recent).

Various readings (see bibliography below)

Course Purpose and Objectives: This course will examine both the theories behind fundamentalist ideologies and the particular manifestations of those ideologies in the contemporary world. As much as possible we will read and discuss various forms of extremist, racist, and controversial texts. The ideologies that we will examine include fascism and neo-Nazism, Christian and Jewish fundamentalism, Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim fundamentalism, and globalized extremism and/or fundamentalism among alternative religions. (Please note that an individuals’ or groups’ appearance in ether this course outline assigned readings does not necessarily mean that they are fundamentalist, militant, or terrorist people or organizations.) Students will write one term paper of twenty pages (worth 30%) that applies theoretical or socio-historical perspectives to fundamentalist movements, and make class presentations and discussions on fundamentalist movements and relevant theories (worth 30%). I will assign the remaining 10% according to attendance, participation, class preparation, etc. We also will agree upon a date where everyone will bring in at least five pages of their papers in order to receive feedback from others in the class. I will penalize a person’s final grade on the paper one minus point if s/he misses this ‘feedback’ session.



1. Hoffman, Bruce. 1993. “‘Holy Terror: The Implications of Terrorism Motivated by a Religious Imperative.” RAND Paper P-7834; Postscript (May 1995).

2. Rapoport, David C. 1993. “Comparing Militant Fundamentalist Movements and Groups.” In Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby (Eds.). Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Politics, Economies, and Militance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 429-461.


1. Ishay, Micheline (Ed.). 1997. The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Writings, Essays, Speeches, and Documents From the Bible to the Present. Appendix A: “2. United Nations Charter; 3. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); 4. European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Its Eight Protocols (1950, 1953; 5. United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1951)”: 406-423.

2. Rosenblum, Nancy L. 2000. “Pluralism, Integralism, and Political Theories of Religious Accommodation.” In Obligations of Citizenship and Demands of Faith: Religious Accommodation in Pluralist Democracies. Princeton: Princeton University Press: 3-31.


1. Kent, Stephen A. “The French and German Versus American Debate Over ‘New Religions’, Scientology, and Human Rights.” Marburg Journal of Religion 6 No. 1 (January); Downloaded from: <> on February 11, 2001: 56pp.

2. Paine, Harold; and Birgit Gratzer. 2001. “Rev. Moon and the United Nations: A Challenge for the NGO Community.” Global Policy Forum; Downloaded from: < > on August 31, 2002: 28pp.

3. Miller, Judith; Stephen Engelberg; and William Broad. 2001. “The Attack,” Pp. 15-44 in Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War. Toronto: Simon & Schuster.

4. Sayle, Murray. 1996. “Nerve Gas and the Four Noble Truths.” The New Yorker (April 1): 56ff.


1. McKean, Lise. 1996. Divine Enterprise. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Chapter One: “Sumptuary Spirituality”: 1-31.

2. Mishra, Pankaj. 2002. “Murder in India.” New York Review of Books (August 15): 34-39.


1. “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” Read from the Hamas website at: <>.

2. Lazare, Daniel. 2002. “False Testament: Archeology Refutes the Bible’s Claim to History.” Harper’s Magazine. (March): 39-47.

3. Sprinzak, Ehud. 1999. Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination. New York: The Free Press; Chapter 8: “To Kill a Prime Minister”: 244-285.


1. DuCharme, Douglas. 1989. “The World of Christian Zionism.” Mandate (January/February): 6-8.

2. MacDonald, Andrew [William Pierce]. 1987. The Turner Diaries. Arlington, VA: National Vanguard Books.

3. Rushton, Philippe. 2000. Race, Evolution, and Behavior. 2nd Special Abridged Edition. Port Huron, MI: Charles Darwin Research Institute.

4. DeBernardi, Jean. 1999. “Spiritual Warfare and Territorial Spirits: The Globalization and Localization of a ‘Practical Theology.’” Religious Studies and Theology 18 No. 2 (December): 66-96.

5. Yeoman, Barry. 2002. “The Stealth Crusade.” Mother Jones (June): 42-49 [on the Evangelical Christian Movement That Aims to Eliminate Islam].

6. Read “The Army of God Manual” at: < >.

7. Deak, Istvan. 1996. “With God on Their Sides.” The New Republic (November 25): 31-35 [a review of books on history, religion, genocide, and the War in Bosnia].


1. Read Hadith Section 52: “Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad),” in the Bukhari Hadith, Available at: < >.

2. Huntington, Samuel. 1996. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. 1997 Reprint. New York: Touchstone (Excerpts): 109-120,174-179, 209-218,301-321.

3. Said, Edward. 1978. Orientalism. 1979 Reprint. New York: Vintage Books; Excerpt from: “Orientalism Now: IV. The Latest Phase”: 284-328, 343-350.

4. Buruma, Ian; and Avishai Margalit. 2002. “”Occidentalism.” New York Review of Books. (January 17): 4-7.

5. Lewis, Bernard. 1990. “The Roots of Muslim Rage.” The Atlantic Monthly (September): 47-54.

6. Bakhash, Shaul. 1988. “Islam and Power Politics.” New York Review of Books
(July 28): 30-32.

7. Lewis, Bernard. 1993. “The Enemies of God.” New York Review of Books (March 25): 30, 32.

8. Hajjar, Lisa; Mouin Rabbani; and Joel Beinin. 1989. “Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict for Beginners.” In Intifada: the Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation. Zachary Lockman and Joel Beinin (Eds.) Washington, D.C.: Middle East Research and Information Project: 101-111.

9. Lelyveld, Joseph. 2001. “All Suicide Bombers Are Not Alike.” New York Times Magazine (October 28): 48ff.

10. Roald, Anne Sofie. 2001. Women in Islam: The Western Experience. London: Routledge; Chapter 6: “Perceptions of Women”: 118-144.

11. Rashid, Ahmed. 2001. Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press; Chapter 8: “A Vanished Gender: Women, Children and Taliban Culture”: 105-116.