2. The Invention of Fanaticism

  1. Sarah Coakley
  1. William T. Cavanaugh

Published Online: 16 AUG 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118321997.ch2

Faith, Rationality, and the Passions

Faith, Rationality, and the Passions

How to Cite

Cavanaugh, W. T. (2012) The Invention of Fanaticism, in Faith, Rationality, and the Passions (ed S. Coakley), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118321997.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 AUG 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 SEP 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444361933

Online ISBN: 9781118321997



  • the invention of fanaticism;
  • opposition of religion/reason, as invented by the modern West;
  • religion as passionate/non-rational, construction of the modern West;
  • myth on religious violence, religion as a transhistorical/transcultural;
  • religion/history tied up with the rise of the modern state in the West;
  • fanaticism, religion and rise of religious fanatic;
  • confessionalization, changing with religious uniformity;
  • fanaticism in its origins, mediating Christian identities/masses;
  • fanaticism in the twenty-first century;
  • contingent modern, of Western construction


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Religion and Violence

  • The Invention of Fanaticism

  • Fanaticism in the Twenty-First Century