Unit 4.1- Introduction to Fundamentalism


Love of God and Country

What is Patriotism?

     This book will introduce us to an important literary/cultural concept: Mythos, or: the stories we tell to maintain our identity.  In order to do so, Hamid, the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, will put forth a compelling case that challenges and prods your understanding of American culture and beliefs.  Don’t be afraid to listen.

     Just the name Fundamentalism runs rings around us: we fear it; we’re confused by it; and we absolutely will not recognize any of it in ourselves.  The next four weeks will essentially be self-guided study; you will have the prompts and the exercises, and you will be responsible for getting them done.

     In the mean time, be clear about a few things as you read: 

  1. Don’t assume this is a relgious argument
  2. Changez, though you may disagree with him, is a patriot
  3. The language you use to define yourself may not be that far away from that of Changez.

     These next few weeks we will examine what it means to be a patriot: Do we have obligations to our country, and, if so, where do we draw the line.  This unit will be designed for you to answer two of the class’ Big Questions:

Who Are You?

Why Are You Here?

     Hopefully, Changez will help you to understand both; often times our emotions are crafted by antithesis (the opposite of all that we hold true).

© Jeff Thomas, uw_thomas@icloud.com