Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

The Social Dynamics of Fundamentalism

This paper is exploring the relationship between the totalising mono-cultures arising from transformational leadership styles and the dynamics of religious fundamentalist movements. This research finds that it is not just parallels and similarities that link the two but suggests specifically that there is a connection between the rise of Christian fundamentalism in the USA and the emergence of the transformational leader as a significant managerial character. Exploring in some depth the dynamics of religious fundamentalism we find unexpected dynamics (fundamentalism as a post-modern movement) as well as the more expected cultures of denying difference, rigid thinking and a defensive spirituality. Finally the paper outlines some initial thoughts on the psychodynamics of fundamentalism, which will be discussed at the conference. The question this paper is addressing is how can leadership be both potent without leading 'the flock' into the totalising corporate cultures that are reminiscent of fundamentalist movements.This paper is a work in progress and part of a larger PhD thesis.