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Women and Fundamentalism in Islam and Catholicism

Madigan, Patricia

Women and Fundamentalism in Islam and Catholicism

Negotiating Modernity in a Globalized World

Series: Religions and Discourse - Volume 53

Year of Publication: 2011

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. VIII, 338 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0276-0 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.490 kg, 1.080 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book takes a historical-theological approach to understanding the complex relationships among gender, religion, economics and politics in a global context, with particular reference to Islam and Catholicism as two worldwide, culturally diverse and patriarchal religious traditions. It looks at ways in which Catholic and Muslim women, both within and between their respective traditions, are critiquing fundamentalist theological and cultural positions and reclaiming their rightful place within the life of their religious traditions. In so doing, it argues that they offer to their respective religious communities, and beyond, a holistic way of negotiating the impact of modernity in a globalized world. The final chapter of the book gives voice to some Australian Muslim and Catholic women who, at a local level, reflect many of the overall concerns of women who find themselves at the cutting edge of their respective religious tradition’s negotiation of modernity.


Contents: Defining ‘fundamentalism’ – The dynamics of Islamic fundamentalism – The dynamics of Catholic fundamentalism – Economics, gender and neopatriarchy – Muslim and Catholic feminist responses to fundamentalism – Sydney women speak.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Patricia Madigan is Chair of the Broken Bay Catholic Diocesan Commission for Interfaith Relations and Chair of the Living Faiths Commission of the New South Wales Ecumenical Council (Sydney). She completed her studies in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, and Harvard Divinity School, where she specialized in Christian-Muslim relations. She was awarded her PhD in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Sydney.


«This book can greatly assist those interested in understanding the rise of fundamentalism because it offers a more complex analysis of the causes and reasons it exists. It is particularly good in identifying the attraction and influence of fundamentalism in modernity and showing why it is not just an ancient problem rearing its ugly head again but this time it is deeply rooted in the modern globalized economy and its power interests.» (Peter Maher, Editor of The Swag)
«Patricia Madigan has made a major contribution to the study of fundamentalism insofar as she has approached it from a feminist angle which enables one to see it in a new perspective.» (Agnes Wilkins, One in Christ)
«Patricia Madigan has produced a compelling work that identifies and critiques the social, economic, political and religious approaches to a globalised world and the impact on women. [She] has made an important contribution to understanding the globalised world and the response of two of the major world religions to emerging social, political and economic realities. More importantly she has identified the critical need to redress the economic and political disadvantage of women as part of the movement to a just and peaceful world order.» (Therese Vassarotti, The Australasian Catholic Record)
«This work is full of in-depth analysis and insight, and the section where the author looks into the relationship between tradition and fundamentalism, the sections where fundamentalist strategies are examined, the survey of 8 Catholic and 8 Muslim women and the questions asked by the author during those surverys, the insightful answers provided by the women, and the author’s enrichment of these responses by using her own insight, are matters that require reading.» (Ismail Albayrak, Pacifica 25, 2012)


Religions and Discourse. Vol. 53
Edited by James M.M. Francis