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John Micklethwait on Religion in America

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Published on Apr 8, 2009

AEI Event: "God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World," April 6, 2009 http://www.aei.org/event/100032

Since the Enlightenment, intellectuals have assumed that modernization would kill religion--and that religious America was an oddity. Yet from Russia to Turkey to India, nations that swore off faith in the last century--or even tried to stamp it out--are now experiencing a new religious fervor. While this global rise of faith has had a far-reaching impact and the destabilizing effects of this religious zeal combined with political unrest can already be seen, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, both of The Economist, argue in their new book, God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World (Penguin Press, April 2009), that religion and modernity can thrive together.

Viewing America as the new norm, the authors describe how the same American ideas that created the United States' unique religious style can be applied around the globe. Micklethwait and Wooldridge propose that this twenty-first-century religion, fueled by an American emphasis on competition and a customer-driven approach to salvation, could channel the rising tide of faith away from volatility and violence as market forces reshape the world. At this event, the authors were joined by Luis E. Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. AEI's Henry Olsen moderated.

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