God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge (New York: The Penguin Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59420-213-1) 416 pp. Cloth $27.95
It’s a bit strange—if not audacious—that The Economist’s editor in chief, John Micklethwait, and its Washington bureau chief, Adrian Wooldridge, would choose to coauthor a free-market explanation of religion’s growth and fortitude in the midst of our era’s greatest economic recession. Stranger still is that they should use the ill-timed tome to rail against a position that blew its final smoke in the cultural revolution of the 1960s, namely that advancing modernity will inevitably trample religion into the dustbin of history. Yet this is exactly what Micklethwait and Wooldridge have done, arguing over the four hundred-odd pages of God Is Back that, contrary to their notion of common secular belief, religion is actually alive and well—even growing—in most parts of the world.