Around the world from Turkey to California, religion and God are on the march. There is a revival in religion that is remarkable enough to make economists make significant observations.
Two Economist writers John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge have taken a look at the religious boom and how it impacts the world at large in certain areas such as the economy, politics, the environment, etc. This growth in religion is a worldwide phenomenon that is making an impact on what people think and do, they say. In a new book, they investigate what has happened, why and what we can learn from this.
During the Enlightenment, intellectuals believed that with the growth of reason and modernization religion would have difficulty surviving. But God is back, revealing that the modern world can apparently accommodate faith as well. America is an example of this, with many scientists espousing faith in something they can't identify with objective means but believe in nonetheless.
According to the theories now espoused, God came back because of communism's failure and the fact that globalism is a movement. There is an emphasis on competition, and even the churches have taken to a consumer-oriented approach to teaching faith. This allows the movement of evangelism into every corner of the world.
But does it help stabilize the world or cause upheaval? Actually, it is the latter these writers declare. Religious fervor in different parts of the globe from the Philippines to the Sudan. Issues about this are how to channel religious faith away from violence and instability.
How does this play out in the news? New religious fervor brings clashes with those attempting modernization, as what has been occurring in Syria. Syria bans extreme religious activity within its borders, and yet Hezbollah and Hamas have active cadres in the region, opposing the moderate leaders who are trying to live in peace in the modern world.
There is a growing insurgence in religion in Nigeria, even taking place on college campuses, according to some authors examining this issue. This has come about from feelings of alienation and frustration with the government.
One of the main concerns of theoreticians is the religious right's emphasis on a pro-war militancy fueled by a combination of patriotism and piety. This particular combination is part of the reason why there have been problems making reconciliations in the Middle East, as the religious right sides adamantly on the side of the Jews, seeing the Biblical prophecies unveiled in the conflicts and issues occurring, according to those concerned about this phenomenon.
Christianity is claiming its own turf. Pentecostalism is said to be growing in Latin American and Africa. Catholicism is going after the same groups, especially in Bogota, Columbia. Although experts declare tht 80% of the world's population will belong to the main religions by mid century, some believe that secular thought combined with the impact of technology will dampen extremism and that perhaps secularism may win out in the end.