God is Winning in 2015: The Continued Failure of Secularization

The now infamous 1966 cover.  And no, He is very much alive.  I talked to Him this morning.
The now infamous 1966 cover. And no, He is very much alive. I talked to Him this morning.

In 1966, Time magazine famously asked, “Is God Dead?”  For almost 50 years, the geopolitics of the world has indicated a strong and loud “no” to this question.  So argue the editors of a great volume, intended for journalists but a worthwhile read for anyone interested in faith or politics, entitled Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.  At the conclusion of their background article, “God is Winning,” Timothy Samuel Shah and Monica Duffy Toft argue,

“Contrary to the influential scholarly theories of the 1950s and 1960s, religion is not dying with modernization. Contrary to conventional wisdom, religion plays an independent and powerful role in how people view themselves and how states conduct their affairs. And, contrary to the assumptions of recent U.S. foreign policy, democracy promotion may only increase the political role of religion – including radical religion – throughout the world, most immediately in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. God is winning in global politics. And modernization, democratization, and globalization have only made him stronger.”

The chorus of New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens [RIP], Harris, Dennett, etc.) continues to argue that religion either will or should go away with advances in modernity and science.  And yet, the exact opposite is happening.  There is a message here for all of us, religious and nonreligious: to understand the world around us, we had best understand our religious neighbors on their own terms, lest we are fated to be ignorant of our world and one of its indefatigable factors.  This has been true since Time‘s infamous cover, and will, in all probability, remain true in this new year – despite what the cultured despisers happen to feel about it.

blind spot book

Source: “God is Winning,” in Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 28.

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2 thoughts on “God is Winning in 2015: The Continued Failure of Secularization”

  1. I could jump on the bandwagon and says that the battle between religion and atheism is just an example of a new religion trying to justify its position in the pantheon of ancient religions, but that gives the atheists more credit than they are do.

    Like most things that progressives like it has more to do with being “edgy” or “contrarian” than anything else. Dawkins can, at least, justify his positions/thoughts by reference to his work; the same does not go for a college member of the “young progressives” who can quote Dawkins verbatim but the last original thought he left swirling the bowl.

    That does not count as being “informed” it counts as being contrarian/edgy and this is a common strain in progressiveness. The validity of their position doesn’t come from analysis, it comes from being contrary to something.

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