God Is Back by John Micklethwait

God Is Back

God Is Back is a book that argues against the secularization thesis and claims that there is a global revival of faith that started in the late twentieth century. The authors contend that religion is “returning to public life” around the world, and that “the great forces of modernity – technology and democracy, choice and freedom – are all strengthening religion rather than undermining it.”

They assert that “religion is becoming a matter of choice,” something that individuals themselves decide to believe in instead of something imposed upon them.

The book explores the new forms that religion is taking around the world, while explicating some of the reasons that religion might appeal to people in modern times: as a source of community in an increasingly atomized world; as a source of certainty in an era of rapid technological and social change; as a source of identity for immigrants far away from home; and as a source of social assistance (like food for the poor, educational programs and medical assistance) in economically challenging times.

What I Liked

The book was a very readable exploration of religious trends around the world. I liked the nuance of how religion is changing in different regions. So often, religion reporters look at North America and Europe when the real shifts are in Asia, South America, and Africa. This book did a good job focusing on those areas.

What I Did Not Like

To have such a clear book title, I’m not entirely sure they made a clear argument in the book.

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