This answer will draw mainly from the two broad examples of fundamentalism: Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism. Violence is not a necessary characteristic of either movement. However, violence is extremely prevalent in Islamic fundamentalist groups. Violence can also occur as result of Christian fundamentalist beliefs but it is rarely sanctioned by any recognised Christian group, usually being carried out by an individual extremist for a personal cause. Absolute totalitarianism is usually a feature of Islamic fundamentalism but not in all cases. Christian fundamentalists reject totalitarianism but do retain many beliefs which, if enshrined in law, would curtail the rights and freedoms of many groups in society. In this way, they can be considered to contain elements of totalitarianism in their ideals.
The definition of fundamentalism very much depends on the context in which a movement is set. (Hartman, 2006) The term came into being in the early twentieth century in America. In response to the modernisation of Protestant thought, evangelical Protestants produced a number of pamphlets between 1910-1915. These pamphlets emphasised the importance of upholding the original teaching of the bible; teachings and rules which they took literally and abided strictly by. These pamphlets were titled 'The Fundamentals', hence the origin of the phrase. (Heywood, 2003)
This label is now applied to various different religious movements. It's original definition of taking the words of sacred text as literal no longer applies. If it did this would mean that all Muslims were fundamentalists, which would make the term useless (Hartman, 2006)
(Hartman, 2006) asserts that religious fundamentalism has risen as a backlash against modernization. Modernization has destroyed commonly accepted beliefs. The expansion of science has led to the 'disenchantment of the world' (Weber, 1946). Sacred values are replaced by rationalist and secular ones, individuality replaces...