There exist lots of folks who opine on religion and public life. There
are few who read and think critically enough to know what they are talking about. With a sharp theory on why God is winning, Dr. Timothy Shah shares some facts that get beyond the old memes about fundamentalism, religion and politics.
Dr. Shah holds an A.B. in government, magna cum laude, and a Ph.D. in political science,
both from Harvard University. His doctoral thesis on religion and the
origins of liberal political thought in early modern Europe was awarded
the prestigious Aaron Wildavsky Award for Best Dissertation in Religion
and Politics by the American Political Science Association in 2003.
He recently participated in a Q & A for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
For much of the 20th century, social scientists and policymakers argued
that democratization and modernity would render religion insignificant
and irrelevant. They were wrong, says Timothy Shah, senior Pew Forum
fellow in religion and world affairs, who contends religion is booming
in many countries and democracy has given religious leaders a growing
political influence, spawning "prophetic political movements."
He points out: ". . .there does seem to be a worldwide trend across all major religious
groups, in which God-based and faith-based movements in general are
experiencing increasing confidence and influence vis-à-vis secular
movements and ideologies. In other words, it is not just Islam that is
resurgent or radicalizing, which is often what is claimed. Rather, what
is happening within Islam must be understood in the wider context of
what is happening within other religious communities. Only then will we
have a proper understanding of the causes and consequences of what is,
in fact, a global trend toward more politically influential religious
Learn more here.