Gold, God, Faith & Politics
" The New Wars of Religion"
The idea that religion has re-emerged in public life is to some extent an illusion. It never really went away—certainly not to the extent that French politicians and American college professors imagined. Its new power is mostly the consequence of two changes. The first is the failure of secular creeds: religion's political comeback started during the 1970s, when faith in government everywhere was crumbling. Second, although some theocracies survive in the Islamic world, religion has returned to the stage as a much more democratic, individualistic affair: a bottom-up marketing success, surprisingly in tune with globalisation. Secularism was not as modern as many intellectuals imagined, but pluralism is. Free up religion and ardent believers and ardent atheists both do well.
Read the entire special report in The Economist (print version)
It's also available online at The Economist.com
Simultaneously, I 'm reading "God & Gold" by Walter Russell Mead.
Mr Mead is The Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Excerpted from the Editorial Review:
An illuminating account of the birth and rise of the global political and economic system that, sustained first by Britain and now by America, created the modern world.
Mead's emphasis on the English-speaking world as the chief hero (and sometimes villain) in modern history changes the way we see the world. Authoritative and lucid, God and Gold weaves history, literature, philosophy, and religion together into an eminently important work—a dazzling book that helps us understand the world we live in and our tumultuous times.