An Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House. (Jim Young / Courtesy Reuters)

Until very recently, scholars theorized that the advent of modernity would inexorably lead to a less religious world. Simply put, modernization equaled secularization. In Europe, that assumption was common to the theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Sigmund Freud. In the United States, too, social scientists with policymaking influence, among them Walt Rostow and Daniel Bell, predicted the inevitable decline of religion as modernity marched forward.

The world today disproves that thinking. In the rapidly industrializing BRIC countries, Brazilians, Russians, Indians, and Chinese

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.