Secular Fundamentalism, Religious Fundamentalism, and the Search for Truth in Contemporary America

Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 12, p. 337, 1995-96

LAW AND RELIGION: A CRITICAL ANTHOLOGY, pp. 317-44, Stephen M. Feldman, ed., New York University Press, 2000

34 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2006  

Daniel O. Conkle

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Abstract

In this article, I suggest that America's ongoing culture war is a product, in part, of an epistemic crisis that confounds our collective search for truth. In a previous article addressing aspects of this topic, I expressed concerns about religious fundamentalism. Here, I explore the ways in which secular thinking might likewise be described as "fundamentalist." In particular, I discuss secular fundamentalism in textual interpretation, secular fundamentalism in the form of political liberalism, and comprehensive secular fundamentalism, which extends to private questions of truth. I then discuss the various problems - not only political, but also theological - that are raised by fundamentalist thinking, whether religious or secular in nature. In place of these various sorts of fundamentalism, I advocate a dialogic, multi-lingual search for truth, a search that would give meaningful consideration to moral arguments of all types - not only in private life, but in the public domain as well.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Establishment Clause, Religion Clauses, Religion and Politics

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Conkle, Daniel O., Secular Fundamentalism, Religious Fundamentalism, and the Search for Truth in Contemporary America. Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 12, p. 337, 1995-96; LAW AND RELIGION: A CRITICAL ANTHOLOGY, pp. 317-44, Stephen M. Feldman, ed., New York University Press, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911647

Daniel O. Conkle (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
(812) 855-4331 (Phone)
(812) 855-0555 (Fax)

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