Golovushkin Dmitriy

From post-traditional fundamentalism to fundamentalism without orthodoxy: the problem of the “third wave” of religious fundamentalism in the present-day world

Golovushkin Dmitriy (2021) "From post-traditional fundamentalism to fundamentalism without orthodoxy: the problem of the “third wave” of religious fundamentalism in the present-day world ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2021, vol. 93, pp. 77-90 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI202193.77-90


The article deals with the problem of transformation of religious fundamentalism in the present-day world. The main attention is paid to the qualitative characteristics and comparative analysis of the so-called “second wave” fundamentalism (1970– 1990) and the “third wave” fundamentalism that conventionally has its starting point on September 11, 2001. The article was written in the context of the two competing discourses of “modernity”, each of them gives its own vision of fundamentalism, i.e. the idea of the postmodern coping with the “modernity” drawing upon the restructuring of F. Nietzsche’s ideas and socio-philosophical concept which is based on the conviction about the incompleteness of the “modern project” (J. Habermas, A. Giddens, J. Mensch). Choosing the fi rst option, we should speak about the “death/ resignation of fundamentalism”. In the second case, we would speak about the late modern fundamentalism. This dilemma could be solved only by the discovery of the “generic features” of fundamentalism, of the “fundamental structures” that made up fundamentalism. These discourses are about the “foundations” and principles of “returning” to the foundations that create “duality”/ambivalence of fundamentalism as well as the modernity itself. Using this criterion, the article shows that the “second wave” fundamentalism grows out of the dialectics of the so-called “organised modernity” and comes as its self-refl exive alternative. It is characterised by the desire to renew the religion and the society through going back to the “foundations”. That is why it does not desire to keep the religious tradition but to reshape and re-actualise it in the new social and cultural situation. That is why it is designated by the term “post-traditional fundamentalism”. The “third wave” fundamentalism is an internal dialectical moment of the late modern culture. Counteracting its challenges and problems it includes the important elements of the late modernity itself: the extreme subjectivity and criticism. That is why it overcomes the religious tradition and rejects the theological doctrinal foundation (Orthodoxy). Nevertheless, it does not abandon the discourse of the “foundations” and “returning”, although it reinvents them according to the specifi c situation guided by specifi c pragmatic goals. As a result, the “third wave” fundamentalism may be called a fundamentalism without tradition/Orthodoxy. This proves that it is too early to speak about the “death of fundamentalism”. Regardless of the fact that fundamentalism in the modern world is transforming radically, it still preserves the “generic features” of fundamentalism, although with the prefi x “post”.


modernity, fundamentalism, modernism, postmodernism, religious traditions, orthodoxy, secularization, post-secularization


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Information about the author

Golovushkin Dmitriy

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Email: golovushkinda@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.