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Note to 61

December 27, 2009

The original line is “Fundamentalists don’t need a God, but must have a Devil,” frequently spoken by Dr. Martin Marty, professor emeritus from University of Chicago’s Divinity School and co-editor of The Fundamentalism Project series (with Dr. Scott Appleby). Marty is paraphrasing philosopher Eric Hoffer’s line that to have a militant movement you need no God, but must have a Devil. See for this and more. I also strongly recommend The Fundamentalism Project series. It’s the definitive work on fundamentalism theologies and movements across the major world religions. When you have about two years to read the whole thing, it’s worth it. If you don’t, the “User’s Guide” at the beginning of Fundamentalisms Observed (University of Chicago Press, 1994) explains fundamentalism as a human pattern that repeats regardless of religion, and identifies the “family traits” shared by all fundamentalisms.


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