"The translation of the Bible into English marked the birth of religious fundamentalism in medieval times, as well as the persecution that often comes with radical adherence in any era, according to a new book. "
It's interesting, this is also shown in the TV series, "The Tudors" - although manipulation of religious leaders for political gain was also pivotal. Of course, that's just historical fiction. :-)
It was Protestant reformer William Tyndale who first translated the Bible into colloquial English in 1525, when the movement away from Catholicism began to sweep through England during the reign of Henry VIII....
Persecution and paranoia became the norm, Simpson said, as the new Protestants feared damnation if they didn't interpret the book properly. Prologues in Tyndale's Bible warned readers what lay ahead if they did not follow the verses strictly...
See original article for more detail - my exerpts are edited for brevity.
What this seems to say is that, once control of biblical intrepretation was taken from the "professionals", then everyone could become a religious tyrant.
The rise of fundamentalist interpretations during the English Reformation can be used to understand the global political situation today and the growth of Islamic extremism...newly literate people claiming that the sacred text speaks for itself, and legitimates violence and repression...and the same is also true of Christian fundamentalists."
In other words, literacy, without critical thinking skills, leads to fundamentalism.