February 28, 2004

Fundamentalist Catholicism?

A side effect of Passion-mania that I'm finding particularly interesting is the spotlight it's shining on traditionalist Catholic sects like the one Mel Gibson himself belongs to. Latin mass, no meat on Fridays, no birth control, and, for many of them, no Pope.

But when you get beyond the doctrinal and liturgical questions, you find that Catholic fundamentalists are just normal religious people, trying to find their way in this postmodern world. Eryn Brown's recent article in the LA Times, Beyond the Trappings, does a good job of pointing that out. (Registration required to read; feel free to use member name "neotheologue" and password "neotheologue.")

In fact, what I found most interesting about the article was how similar these people are to the many fundamentalist Protestants I fellowship with. More on that later, in connection with an excellent series of articles on religion in this quarter's Harvard International Review.

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