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Fundamentalism: the psychology of violence

“Fundamentalism and violence: psychoanalytic perspectives” is a conference that will discuss the commonalities between different forms of fundamentalism and why fundamentalist groups may turn to violence.

  

Marcella Via

 

The concept of fundamentalism, usually – but not exclusively – related to religion, emerges from a clash between an ‘in-group’, represented by a certain identity, and an ‘out-group’, which is considered the polar opposite of an in-group.

Another central trait of fundamentalist groups is that they strictly and literally follow the dogmas of a certain ideology. Such groups often view their principles as pure and therefore profoundly reject diversity. Often, this rejection is manifested in the form of violent actions against other groups that are seen as impure or dangerous.

Since the 9/11 attack and the start of the ‘War on Terror’, fundamentalism has largely been associated with the rise of Islamic movements and terrorist actions, both in the Middle East and the West.

However, it is important to note that other religions can also be considered fundamentalist groups.

Buddhist groups, for example, have carried out anti-Muslim attacks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The study of fundamentalism and its relation to violence has intrigued many scholars belonging to different fields and much has been written about its socio-economic, political and cultural causes.

“Fundamentalism and violence: psychoanalytic perspectives” is a conference that will consider all forms of fundamentalism from a psychoanalytic perspective. Four papers exploring the nature of fundamentalism and its relation to violence will be supporting material for the event.

The questions at the heart of the conference are built around the commonalities between different forms of fundamentalism and how certain fundamentalist groups can become aggressive.

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There will be presentations from the following speakers: Barry Richards, Professor of Political Psychology at Bournemouth University; Karl Figlio, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at Essex University; Philip Stokoe, Psychoanalyst (Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, Training Analyst with the British Psychotherapy Foundation), in private practice working with adults and couples; and Richard Burgess, UKCP registered Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with a particular interest in understanding fundamentalism in psychoanalytic terms.

The conference will take place on Saturday 12 May, from 2 pm to 6 pm at the Hotel Novotel London Wembley, 5 Olympic Way, HA9 0NP London, United Kingdom.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

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