Golovushkin Dmitrii

Religious Fundamentalism/Religious Modernism: Conceptual Adversaries or Ambivalent Phenomena?

Golovushkin Dmitrii (2015) "Religious Fundamentalism/Religious Modernism: Conceptual Adversaries or Ambivalent Phenomena? ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2015, vol. 57, pp. 87-97 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201557.87-97


Both religious modernism and religious fundamentalism appeared as problems in academic and theological literature at the beginning of the 20th century. They came about as the result of the dynamic development of modernistic ideology in Russia, the United States, Western Europe and the Islamic world. Today, the concepts of religious modernism and religious fundamentalism are widely used to describe religious processes and phenomena which are the result of interaction between religion (as a dynamic spiritual and social subsystem) and society - as a social system experiencing evolution. The concept of religious modernism is traditionally associated with religious renewal, the contemporary world, and innovation. Fundamentalism, on the contrary, is an ideological commitment to the “roots and origins” of religion. Under the aegis of fundamentalism, any religious idea, value or concept has a right to exist. Religious Studies, during the course of time and the production of ever new material, encountered a serious theoretic-methodological problem: How can various religious movements and religious traditions be organized into groups since some of them combine elements of religious modernism and of religious fundamentalism? Already at the end of the nineteen-eighties, the well-established view defining “fundamentalism-modernism” as contrary positions had to be rethought. Studies dating from the nineteen-nineties and the beginning of the new millennium concentrated on noting the social origins and the political character of these phenomena. They demonstrated that neither fundamentalism nor modernism present the whole picture. The lines dividing them are so blurred, that they become confl uent. Consequently, the author concludes that religious fundamentalism and religious modernism are ambivalent phenomena, which can, on occasion, interact with each other.


religious modernism, religious fundamentalism, religious renovation, identification of alternative religious ideologies


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Golovushkin Dmitrii