In This Review

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World
God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World
By John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge
416 pp, Penguin, 2009
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In international politics, religion has been the elephant in the room for most of the modern age. And in recent years, it has only grown larger and louder. Policymakers and political theorists have adopted the mostly unpromising strategies of ignoring it in the hope that rationality and modernity will eventually push it out; using laws, coercion, or public opinion to remove it from the political sphere; or pretending that it is only a matter of culture and treating it accordingly.

The authors of God Is Back are an exception. They admit that religion is here to stay and seek to find out what it is really all about. John Micklethwait, editor in chief of The Economist, and Adrian Wooldridge, its Washington bureau chief, work for a publication that has been notably dubious about religion's long-term viability in the face of modernization and economic globalization. The Economist boldly published God's obituary

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  • TIMOTHY SAMUEL SHAH is Senior Research Scholar at Boston University's Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs and a co-author, with Daniel Philpott and Monica Toft, of a forthcoming book on religion and global politics to be published by Norton in 2010.
  • More By Timothy Samuel Shah