Fundamentalism vs. Globalization, A Case Study: Medieval Spain
Torres, Cindy (Purdue University Calumet)
Paper Given – Unity and Diversity Conference (2005)
Fundamentalism and globalization are considered modern words originating in the early decades of the 20th century. Fundamentalism is a concept often associated with religious beliefs and defended by those who feel the need to maintain their original ideologies, thereby preserving their religious and social identities. Globalization, in contrast, is considered a vehicle for unification, prosperity, and peace. Both of these definitions suggest diverse implications tracing back many centuries. The perfect example illustrating the powerful interaction of these ideas is Medieval Spain and its multicultural society of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Can fundamentalism and globalization co-exist, and if so what are the future implications involved? The Medieval period was a tumultuous time filled with religious and cultural tension across all of Europe; one exception was among the intricately connected, yet diverse, population of Spain. Until the eleventh century, Christians, Jews, and Muslims co-existed relatively peacefully developing an integrated form of globalization throughout the nation. During this period, cultures exchanged knowledge and technology progressing intellectual, economic, social, and philosophical dimensions. However, when struggles for power arose, this ideal form of globalization was shattered. Christians, Jews, and Muslims retreated back to their fundamentalist beliefs in order to conserve their communities identities. A natural reaction to the risks involved in globalization is fundamentalism, yet if cultures respect and embrace the riches other cultures offer, globalization and fundamentalism may interact in powerful ways furthering cultural, economical, and political aspects of society peacefully today and tomorrow as they did for so many centuries in Medieval Spain.