Religieuse fundamentalisme in die era van imperium: pre- of postmodern?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The present article examines the question, whether the recent eruption of what may be comprehended as an expression of religious fundamentalism, albeit in the guise of “terrorism”, can be situated in a broader historical and theoretical context, which would impart greater comprehensibity to it, than the predominantly “hysterical” reaction to violent “terrorist” attacks enables one to do. With this aim in mind, the nature of “fumdamentalism” is scrutinised, in the light of the “terrorist” attack by Al Qaeda against Charlie Hebdo in Paris (January 2015), by ISIS in Paris (November 2015), and again in Brussels (March 2016). The causal nexus underpinning these attacks is examined by means of the concept of fundamentalism as it is employed by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, specifically regarding their well-known concept of “Empire” (their name for the current “sovereign” world order), and the question, whether the historical events and conditions referred to earlier are symptomatic of a “return” to the premodern, or rather of a postmodern rejection of modernisation and what accompanies it. Subsequently, the question of the culture-historical status of current religious Islamic fundamentalism is approached within the framework of Samuel Huntington’s thesis of the “clash of civilizations” which enables one to construe it as a manifestation of this conflict. Manuel Castells’s investigation of the nature and grounds of religious Islamic fundamentalism is also thematised within the context of his thesis concerning the “network society”, to be able to provide a nuanced answer to the central question of this article. In conclusion, the “grounds” of fundamentalism (of any kind) are discussed insofar as these are connected with dogma and truth. This is done by way of a philosophical discussion of Umberto Eco’s treatment of the (according to him paradoxical) concept of “truth” (and by implication dogma), and it is argued that a dogmatic conception of “truth” underpins Islamic fundamentalism.