Friday, April 11, 2008

On Jewish fundamentalism

We're fairly familiar with Christian and Muslim fundamentalism, but with Jewish fundamentalism, less so. Tim Callahan reviews Bondage of the Mind: How Old Testament Fundamentalism Shackles the Mind and Enslaves the Spirit by R.D. Gold for eSkeptic.

Most of us involved with issues of critical thinking are accustomed to dealing with what we think of as fundamentalism, which implies specifically Christian fundamentalism. Bondage of the Mind deals, specifically, with Jewish fundamentalism. Just as evangelicalism, and particularly evangelical fundamentalism, is a potent force in Christianity, so too is modern Orthodox Judaism a potent force among Jews today.

Orthodox Judaism, like fundamentalist Christianity, claims to be the only valid form of Judaism. In the process of evangelizing Jews, particularly Jewish youth, it refers to Jews who switch their allegiance from Reform Judaism to Orthodox Judaism as returnees.
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