UUSD fundamentalism course to start April 15

April 7, 2019

The Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware and Mac and Susan Goekler will conduct a three-session course called Fundamentalism: The Battle for God. Sessions will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Mondays, April 15, 22, and 29, at UUSD, 30486 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Lewes.

Open to the public, the course is based on the book, “The Battle for God: a History of Fundamentalism” by Karen Armstrong.

The first session will provide a course overview and begin tracing what happened in American Protestant fundamentalism beginning in Europe; Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, also with roots in Europe; and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt (Sunni) and Iran (Shii) between 1492 and 1870.

Armstrong focused on these three movements as a way to understand the existential threats perceived by those espousing a more fundamental religious practice.

The second session will cover the period from 1870 to 1925 and the disruptive force of modernization, with Islam losing its influence in Europe and on the world stage, a new world order created after the first World War, and the beginning of the Zionist movement to claim a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to name just a few topics.

As people struggled with change, they sought certainty and stability in religion. The feeling that secular society was pushing religion to the sidelines led some to become increasingly more militant in asserting the relevance and validity of a return to the fundamentals of their religious teachings.

The third session will conclude the course with a discussion about where the issue of fundamentalism is now.

Participants will receive a handout with study questions for each session. The course presenters strongly suggest participants read the book in advance; however, this is not a requirement.

Course facilitators Mac and Susan Goekler have led this course and many others for adults at other UU churches they have attended. They are now both retired. Susan is a former teacher; Mac is a chemical engineer.

A one-time $10 donation is requested for the three-week course. Preregistration is requested, but not required. Proceeds will support UUSD’s mission to nurture spiritual growth, embrace diversity, work for justice, and strive for a loving world. For directions and information about UUSD, go to

For further information or to register for the course, contact Mac and Susan Goekler at