The Connection between the Crucifixion and the Passover, Part VII

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 16 March 2005 0 Comments
Please login with your account to read this essay.


Can you say if you think Karen Armstrong's book would be valuable or helpful reading on the subject of religious fundamentalism?


I believe you are referring to Karen Armstrong's book on fundamentalism entitled, "The Battle for God." It is a broad and sweeping analysis of fundamentalism in the three religions that claim to root in Abraham: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I commend it to you or anyone.

Karen Armstrong, a former nun, is one of the best writers and religious commentators in the world today. She is clear and articulate as well as being a competent scholar.

When you read or study this book, you will inevitably become aware that fundamentalism has little to do with religious truth. It is rather a security seeking, defense mechanism used by frightened people. Fundamentalism rises out of an inner need for certainty that the world will never provide. That is also why there is such anger in fundamentalism, as well as great hostility toward those who are not by their definition "true believers." The people who have written the most hate-filled letters to me, and almost all of the death threats that I have received, have come from those who define themselves as "Bible based, true believers." That should tell us something about both their fear and about the integrity of their belief system.

I hope your study will help the participants understand these issues. If your study is a clandestine attempt to convert fundamentalists to your point of view you will not succeed, not because the sources you used were somehow lacking, but because you have failed to understand the nature of fundamentalism. I wish you well.

-- John Shelby Spong




Leave a Reply