Interesting article on Global Religion in the Economist this week by John Micklethwait. Its called In God’s Name and it deals with tension in religion and politics around the world.
EXCERPT: “Part of that secular fury, especially in Europe, comes from exasperation. After all, it has been a canon of progressive thought since the Enlightenment that modernity—that heady combination of science, learning and democracy—would kill religion. Plainly, this has not happened. Numbers about religious observance are notoriously untrustworthy, but most of them seem to indicate that any drift towards secularism has been halted, and some show religion to be on the increase. The proportion of people attached to the world’s four biggest religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism—rose from 67% in 1900 to 73% in 2005 and may reach 80% by 2050 (see chart 2).” In God’s Name.
Related: I read Philip Jenkin’s new book God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis. I read it on the plane from Seattle to London. A good read but quite of lot of NUMBERS and STATISTICS – unlike Karen Armstrong’s new book The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, which I read on the journey from London to Seattle, a book which takes a much more narrative and therefore readable approach to history and religion. But Jenkin’s book is a worthwhile read if you are interested in the new Europe that is coming to grips with its Muslim immigrants. It was recommended to me by CMS General Secretary Tim Dakin, who gave it a very high and strong THUMBS UP. And since I work for CMS, I felt compelled to buy it. I will give a review of the book soon.