I’ve been linked by The Wall Street Journal, at the end of another review of Mark Lilla’s The Stillborn God. Here’s an excerpt:
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Evangelical Christianity was not supposed to rise in the 1980s as a political force in the U.S. Militant Islam was not supposed to rear its ugly head in the ’90s, developing into a global threat to America and the West. Nor was there supposed to be a world-wide religious awakening — in South America, Africa and Asia, among other places — involving major religious groups, not only Christian and Muslim but also Hindu and Buddhist.
At least none of these developments — rooted in different social structures and cultures — was supposed to happen from the perspective of enlightened and progressive opinion. Instead, democracy and modernization, gaining strength in the second half of the 20th century, were supposed to finish a job that began in the 17th and 18th centuries, sweeping away ancient superstition, dissolving inherited prejudice, installing reason as authoritative in moral and political life, and making man, at last, thoroughly at home in the world by totally secularizing it.
The Stillborn God — Mark Lilla’s sophisticated and compelling study of religion and politics in the modern West — helps to explain where this supposition came from and why it has proved to be misguided. …”
Read the rest here.
The Journal links back here.