Religious Fundamentalism and Terror Management Academic Article uri icon


  • The study reported herein tested the following hypothesis: Religious fundamentalism can serve a protective function against existential anxiety, such that the need to engage in secular worldview defense when mortality is made salient is reduced for high fundamentalists. The results showed that high fundamentalists engaged in less worldview defense after thinking about their own death versus a control topic. Low fundamentalists, however, engaged in more worldview defense after thinking about their deaths versus a control topic. Exploratory analyses revealed that high fundamentalists' writings about death had a more positive emotional tone and that reactions to the death salience manipulation moderated the impact of fundamentalism on worldview defense. Fundamentalists who saw their deaths in terms of peace and acceptance appeared most protected against terror management concerns.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Friedman, M., & Rholes, W. S.

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • Friedman, Mike||Rholes, W Steven

publication date

  • January 2008