The Fundamentalism Project
This major comparative study of anti-modernist, anti-secular militant religious movements on five continents and within seven world religious traditions resulted in multiple influential publications.
From 1987 to 1995, the Academy undertook a major comparative study of anti-modernist, anti-secular militant religious movements on five continents and within seven world religious traditions. Drawing on the expertise of hundreds of scholars across the globe, the project convened 10 conferences, involved thousands of hours of fieldwork, and examined the nature of fundamentalist movements, their institutions, and their relation to governmental policies. The study revealed similarities among fundamentalist movements, even across religious traditions, and the distinct cultural, social, and political contexts in which various movements emerged. This initiative resulted in five encyclopedic scholarly volumes, published as a series; a series of documentary film and radio programs, aired on PBS and NPR, and produced in collaboration with the BBC; a companion book to the television and radio series; and three additional books. The information and analysis produced by this study continue to inform the public agenda as the United States struggles to deal with the impact of religious fundamentalism on international security in the twenty-first century.