From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
According to philosopher George Santayana, "Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim"; according to Winston Churchill, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject".
The difference between a fan and a fanatic is that while both have an overwhelming liking or interest in a given subject, behaviour of a fanatic will be viewed as violating prevailing social norms, while that of a fan will not violate those norms (although is usually considered unusual).
A fanatic differs from a crank in that the latter term is typically associated with a position or opinion which is so far from the norm as to appear ludicrous and/or provably wrong, while the subject of the fanatic's obsession may well be "normal", with only the scale of involvement being abnormally disproportionate.
Categories of fanaticism
- consumer fanaticism - the level of involvement or interest one has in the liking of a particular person, group, trend, artwork or idea.
- religious fanaticism - considered by some to be the most extreme form of religious fundamentalism.
- political, ideological fanaticism.
- ethnic, national, racial fanaticism.
- leisure fanaticism - high levels of intensity, enthusiasm, commitment and zeal shown for one's leisure activities.
- Antifanaticism: A Tale of the South
- Fixation (psychology)
- Obsession (psychology)
- Religious fanaticism