Fundamentalism refers to:
- Extremely conservative movements in any religion
- Any religious ideology which teaches that its sacred texts are infallible, and must be read in a fairly literal sense.
- A movement which originated in the United States in the early 20th century, opposed to the teaching of evolution. This movement called themselves 'Fundamentalists' because they sought to return to what they viewed as the 'fundamentals' of their religion. The term has since been extended by analogy, to include similar movements in other religions, especially Islam.
Christian Fundamentalists argued that the Bible must be accepted as the literal word of God, correct not only in its religious or moral teachings, but also in its scientific and historical claims. They believe that the theory of evolution is false, since it contradicts their reading of the Bible.
Jews argue that the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible, aka the Old Testament) should not be read alone, but needs to be read in conjunction with additional material known as the oral law; this material is contained in the Mishnah and the Talmud. Jewish fundementalists read the Bible, Mishnah and Talmud in a literal fashion, assuming that the texts are both completely divine and infallible. Orthodox_Judaism, especially Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Judaism, is a fundamentalist Jewish denomination, as opposed to Reform_Judaism and Conservative_Judaism which are theologically opposed to any form of fundamentalism.
Important early fundamentalists included [[William Jennings Bryan].