Research topic: Fundamentalism
The word "fundamentalism" is used primarily to describe trends in American Christianity starting in the early 20th century.
Fundamentalists wanted to defend basic Christian doctrines and values against secularisation and modernity. Used more widely the term is applied to similar religious reactions in other religions.
In recent times, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism have all experienced movements that have desired to defend traditional religion against modernising trends. A common feature of all these movements is that the laity have a new and central position, while the traditional religious elites, or priesthoods, have frequently been marginalised by historical processes, such as imperialism and revolutions in education and the print sector.