God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics

Overview

A fresh and illuminating perspective on the surge in religion’s political influence across the globe.
Is religion a force for good or evil in world politics? How much influence does it have? Despite predictions of its decline, religion has resurged in political influence across the globe, helped by the very forces that were supposed to bury it: democracy, globalization, and technology. And despite recent claims that religion is exclusively irrational and violent, its political ...

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God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics

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Overview

A fresh and illuminating perspective on the surge in religion’s political influence across the globe.
Is religion a force for good or evil in world politics? How much influence does it have? Despite predictions of its decline, religion has resurged in political influence across the globe, helped by the very forces that were supposed to bury it: democracy, globalization, and technology. And despite recent claims that religion is exclusively irrational and violent, its political influence is in fact diverse, sometimes promoting civil war and terrorism but at other times fostering democracy, reconciliation, and peace. Looking across the globe, the authors explain what generates these radically divergent behaviors. In a time when the public discussion of religion is overheated, these dynamic young scholars use deeply original analysis and sharp case studies to show us both how and why religion’s influence on global politics is surging. Finally they offer concrete suggestions on how to both confront the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities posed by globally resurgent religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Nietzsche famously declared that "God is dead." Toft (Public Policy/Harvard Univ.), Philpott (Political Science and Peace Studies/Univ. of Notre Dame) and Shah (Boston Univ. Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs) suggest that the rumors of His death have been greatly exaggerated.

The authors claim that the influence of religion on the thinking and behavior of human beings may be stronger than ever, and they explore the implications of that influence over each of us as individuals and the world as a whole. Is religion a force for good or evil in politics? How much influence does and should it have? These are just two of the larger questions that the authors ask and then attempt to answer. Their sharp analysis, meticulous research and original thinking make for an enjoyable reading experience, and their willingness to unpack subtleties and address complexity keep their work from becoming biased or one-sided. In addition to critiquing religion, the authors celebrate it. Religion isn't a good or bad thing so much as itcanbe a good or bad thing. Any major religion claims adherents both irrational and violent as well as just and kind. The authors then consider how religion might be a force for good and not for ill, and these specifics are the most engaging parts of the book. The authors offer concrete suggestions for confronting the challenges that religion's influence can bring, as well as making the most of the unique perspective offered by religious thinkers and doers. In a world where religion isn't going away and may, in fact, be on the rise, Toft, Philpott and Shah urge us to take the influence of God seriously and to not simply accept or dismiss it as "good" or "bad."

In an age of Osteen and Hitchens, it's refreshing to see the subject of religion addressed in this nonpartisan, insightful way.

Kirkus Reviews

Nietzsche famously declared that "God is dead." Toft (Public Policy/Harvard Univ.), Philpott (Political Science and Peace Studies/Univ. of Notre Dame) and Shah (Boston Univ. Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs) suggest that the rumors of His death have been greatly exaggerated.

The authors claim that the influence of religion on the thinking and behavior of human beings may be stronger than ever, and they explore the implications of that influence over each of us as individuals and the world as a whole. Is religion a force for good or evil in politics? How much influence does and should it have? These are just two of the larger questions that the authors ask and then attempt to answer. Their sharp analysis, meticulous research and original thinking make for an enjoyable reading experience, and their willingness to unpack subtleties and address complexity keep their work from becoming biased or one-sided. In addition to critiquing religion, the authors celebrate it. Religion isn't a good or bad thing so much as itcanbe a good or bad thing. Any major religion claims adherents both irrational and violent as well as just and kind. The authors then consider how religion might be a force for good and not for ill, and these specifics are the most engaging parts of the book. The authors offer concrete suggestions for confronting the challenges that religion's influence can bring, as well as making the most of the unique perspective offered by religious thinkers and doers. In a world where religion isn't going away and may, in fact, be on the rise, Toft, Philpott and Shah urge us to take the influence of God seriously and to not simply accept or dismiss it as "good" or "bad."

In an age of Osteen and Hitchens, it's refreshing to see the subject of religion addressed in this nonpartisan, insightful way.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393932737
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Series: Norton Series in World Politics Series
  • Edition description: College Edition
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 443,010
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica Duffy Toft is associate professor of public policy and director of the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Daniel Philpott is associate professor of political science and peace studies, University of Notre Dame.

Timothy Samuel Shah is Associate Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

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