Fundamentalism tends to conceive the reconstruction of the world through a vision which turns towards the past and which does not accept social and individual emancipation and change. Ideologically, it is anti-modern but at the same time it takes on board some of the most crucial aspects of modernity.
Religious fundamentalism means that a given faith has to be lived to the full, free from compromises and restrictions. It presupposes that the doctrine occupies the central position in religion rather than the rites and that the doctrine can be set out with exactitude.
This volume seeks on the one hand to explain social fundamentalism and on the other to analyse whether fundamentalist tendencies can be identified in young people. It is an exploratory work which aims to discover where a section of European youth is going and which calls for reflections on the claims for identity from cultural areas that were previously silent.
Luigi Tomasi (University of Trento). His research concerns "sociological theory", the sociology of "religion" and "development". He has authored or edited numerous works in the area of Sociology of Religion: The Young People of Eastern and Western Europe. Ideologies and Prospects (1991); Young People and Religion in Europe. Persistance and Change in Values (1993); The New-Europe and the Value Orientations of Young People. East-West Comparisons (1994); Youth and Religion in Italy (1995). For many years he was a Visiting Scholar at the Committee on Social Thought of the University of Chicago and a Visiting Professor at the University of Phnom Penh. Futhermore, he is the secretary of the "Sociology of Religion" section of the Italian Sociological Association and the Chairperson of the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures.